Three rescued with minor injuries in float plane crash off B.C.'s Sunshine Coast | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Three rescued with minor injuries in float plane crash off B.C.'s Sunshine Coast

July 31, 2019 - 1:49 PM

SECHELT, B.C. - Sunshine Coast resident Ian Bolden says he was out paddling on Davis Bay Tuesday when he watched a float plane circle in the sky, dip low toward the water, turn into the wind and disappear in a big splash.

Bolden hustled back to shore to report the crash and says by the time he was done, rescue crews were already circling the area.

Officials say three people were aboard the plane when it went down Tuesday afternoon and all were taken to hospital with minor injuries.

Bolden says he watched a tug boat hauling gravel near the crash assist in the rescue.

"It cut its barge free and blasted out to where the crash site was and picked up the people, who were then transferred to the coast guard hovercraft, which brought them to shore just down the beach from us," he says.

"They appeared to be in reasonably good condition," he says, adding they were walking with the support of rescuers.

It's a high-traffic area for sea planes and Bolden says he has seen a few scary landings, including one where a plane appeared to lose its engine power and glide safely down to the water.

Transportation Safety Board spokesman Chris Krepski says the plane was a privately operated de Havilland Beaver flying from Vancouver on its way to Pender Harbour with a pilot and two passengers aboard.

The plane experienced an engine power loss and it was forced to make an emergency landing, he says.

"The aircraft sustained substantial damage and became submerged underwater."

Krepski says the TSB will not be investigating the crash.

The plane's occupants were taken to shore in Sechelt, where Emergency Health Services staged three paramedic ground units.

RCMP Const. Karen Whitby says they appeared to have only "bumps and bruises," but were taken to the local hospital for further assessment. Emergency Health Services confirmed their injuries were "minor."

The Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre says several rescuers responded to the incident, including crews from the Navy, Transport Canada, Canadian Coast Guard and Vancouver Fire Rescue.

In a separate incident on Friday, rescue crews found four people dead and five injured after a float plane crashed on a remote island on B.C.'s central coast.

The BC Coroners Service issued a release Tuesday saying the three passengers killed were visiting B.C.

The men, ranging in age from their 30s to their 70s, were from South Carolina, Washington state and Germany.

The pilot, Al McBain of Vancouver, was identified by a family member.

— By Amy Smart in Vancouver

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version said the crash investigation would be handed to Transport Canada and that the victims in a crash Friday ranged in age from their 40s to 70s.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2019
The Canadian Press

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