One dead, at least eight others missing after floatplane crash near Seattle
The Coast Guard said one person was dead and at least eight others were being searched in waters off Seattle following a crash involving a floating plane. The agency announced shortly before 6 p.m. that one body believed to be connected to the wreckage at Mutiny Cove had been recovered. It said that “eight individuals are still missing”.
The federal aviation administration said in a statement that a de Havilland DHC-3 Otter floatplane went down near Whidbey Island at around 3:10 p.m. The agency said early reports indicated that 10 people were onboard. The Coast Guards’ tally was nine, with one possibly being a child.
A “surface safety area has been established around the wreckage,” said the Coast Guard. The agencies helping the Coast Guard included Island County Sheriff’s Office, Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office, and the South Whidbey Fire/EMS, according to federal agencies.
On its way to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, the Coast Guard said that the aircraft took off from Friday Harbor, Wash., about 100 miles north of Seattle. The wreckage off Whidbey Island is about 40 miles north of Seattle. The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board will conduct an investigation.
Floating planes such as de Havilland typically employ a parallel pontoon system to launch and land using a waterway rather than a runway. The plane was designed to be short-takeoff-and-landing, favored in locations with relatively short runways.