/Rescue crews facing “difficult conditions” in search for 2 missing after Alaska plane crash

Rescue crews facing “difficult conditions” in search for 2 missing after Alaska plane crash


Ketchikan, Alaska — Federal investigators arrived Tuesday at the scene of a deadly mid-air crash in Alaska. At least four people were killed when two sightseeing planes, carrying passengers from a cruise ship, collided near the town of Ketchikan.

Coast Guard crews searched the frigid waters where the planes went down. But an official said Alaska is extremely remote, and said it’s “one of the most difficult conditions” to operate in.
       
The passengers were all from a massive cruise ship, the Royal Princess. After docking in Port of Ketchikan, one of the prized excursions was a float plane trip over fjords and glaciers.

One plane had five on board, and overturned. The other, carrying 11 people landed in the water, but started to sink.

Of all the places these planes could have gone down, somehow there was a lodge nearby. After the two float planes collided, the Coast Guard said volunteers sprang into action, getting into their own boats to rescue victims. Hypothermia was a major concern.

Alaska-Floatplanes Downed
Emergency response crews transport an injured passenger to an ambulance at the George Inlet Lodge docks on Monday, May 13, 2019, in Ketchikan, Alaska.

Dustin Safranek / AP


As many as 10 people made it out alive and the Coast Guard is giving credit to good Samaritans like Jacob Bauer.

“We jumped into the water searching for anything we could find, smacking floats yelling for people,” Bauer said.

But Bauer’s friend, who was operating the plane, died.

“Flying was his life, so he went out doing something he loved,” Bauer said.

The Coast Guard is still searching for two missing people who they said could have made it to land. The National Transportation Safety Board has arrived on scene and is investigating what could have caused the collision.

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