Four people aboard two small planes died Tuesday in central Florida after the planes collided in midair and landed in a lake, authorities said.

The collision was reported at 2:04 p.m. over Lake Hartridge in Winter Haven. Rescuers rushed to the scene and found one plane 21 feet below the surface and another partially submerged, Steve Lester, chief of staff for the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, said at a news conference.

«It was a mid-air collision, and both planes immediately went down in the water,» he said.

First responders went into search and rescue mode and recovered the bodies of the four people who had been on the planes, the sheriff’s office said.

The sheriff’s office identified three of them as Faith Irene Baker, 24, of Winter Haven; Zachary Jean Mace, 19, of Winter Haven; and Randall Elbert Crawford, 67, of Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

Emergency personnel work near the site of a mid-air collision of two planes in central Florida on Tuesday.wfla

The planes were a Cherokee Piper 161, operated by Sunrise Aviation on behalf of Polk State College, and a Piper J-3 Cub operated by Jack Brown’s Seaplane Base in Winter Haven, the sheriff’s office said.

Baker, a pilot and flight instructor for Sunrise Aviation, and Mace, a Polk State College student, were in the Cherokee Piper, the sheriff’s office said.

Agents were working to confirm the identity of the fourth person, who had been aboard the J-3 Cub with Crawford.

«My heart goes out to the families and friends of those who died in today’s crash,» Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said in a statement.

Polk State College, which has campuses in Winter Haven and elsewhere in Polk County, said it was mourning the deaths of Mace and Baker.

“Our Polk State College family is devastated by this tragedy,” President Angela Garcia Falconetti said in a school statement.

It was not immediately clear how the planes collided. Lester noted that the closest airport, Winter Haven Regional Airport, is right next to the lakefront.

The cause of the crash will be investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration, the sheriff’s office said.

Winter Haven is about 50 miles south of Orlando.

lindsey pipia and juliet arcodia contributed.