The US Coast Guard said a sightseeing plane crashed Thursday in southeastern Alaska, killing all six people on board.
The Coast Guard said the plane’s emergency beacon was activated around 11:20 a.m. in the Misty Fjords National Monument area near Ketchikan. A helicopter reported seeing wreckage on a lower line in the search area, and Coast Guard crew members found the wreck around 2:40 p.m. and there were no survivors, the Coast Guard said.
The five passengers on board the flight were from the Holland America Line New Amsterdam cruise ship, the company said in a statement. The ship stopped in Ketchikan on Thursday.
“The float plane’s flight was offered by an independent tour operator and was not sold by Holland America Line,” the statement said.
Ketchikan is a popular stop for cruise ships visiting Alaska, and cruise ship passengers can take various sightseeing trips while in port.
Among these are trips to Misty Fjords National Monument, where visitors can see glacial valleys, snow-capped peaks, and lakes in the wilderness area.
In 2019, two sightseeing planes collided mid-air, killing six of the 16 people on board.
Coast Guard Chief Kip Wadlow said Thursday’s participating aircraft, a de Havilland Beaver, was owned by Southeast Aviation LLC. The letter left at the Ketchikan sightseeing company was not immediately returned to the Associated Press.
The company says on its website that it offers sightseeing tours to Misty Fjords National Monument and bear viewing sites, along with aerial charters to other communities in Southeast Alaska.
Wadlow said the plane’s operator had informed the Coast Guard that five passengers and a pilot were on board.
Wadlow had no details of when the plane would take off.
Clint Johnson, president of the Alaska National Transportation Safety Board, said his agency is awaiting the results of research efforts by the Coast Guard and Troops. A letter requesting comment has also been sent to the Federal Aviation Administration.