Kenmore Air floatplane crashes off Lopez Island
There were four people on board the plane at the time of the crash and all survived.
Travis Pittman , KING 7:48 PM. PDT September 30, 2016
SEATTLE, WA – A Kenmore Air floatplane crashed off Lopez Island and sank Friday. All four people on board were rescued.
The Coast Guard says the crash happened at 9:13 a.m. in Cattle Pass near the south end of the island.
Three men and a woman were on board. The crew of the Northern Rose saw people in the water and rescued them. All passengers were wearing portable floatation devices when they were rescued.
“Kathy (my wife) and I were able to pull them on board," said Daniel Schwartz, the boat's captain. "And Kathy immediately took all their wet clothing off and got them into just about every piece of clothes we had. And had our heater on in the cabin and wrapped them in blankets. And turned around and started back for Friday Harbor.”
"After we pulled everyone in off the boat, we just started saying the Lord's Prayer because we thought there must've been some kind of divine intervention," said Kathy.
"We were just in the right place at the right time," added her husband Dan.
Two were airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle in fair but stable condition. All four were treated by medics for hypothermia and minor injuries.
The Coast Guard says it was notified by Kenmore Air of an electronic emergency signal just before the plane went down.
The pilot says the plane sank. The Coast Guard says it's too early to know if the plane can be salvaged.
FAA spokesperson Allen Kenitzer said the aircraft is a DHC-2 de Havilland Beaver. All of Kenmore Air's planes of this type are float planes. Kenmore Air regularly uses float planes which are often seen taking off from and landing at Seattle’s Lake Union.
Kenmore’s chief pilot says the plane was a regularly scheduled trip. It left Lake Union to drop off a passenger at Lopez, and was then heading to Roche Harbor on San Juan Island to drop off another two passengers.
It was then expected to pick up passengers and then head back to Lake Union.
The FAA and NTSB will investigate.
FROM KENMORE AIR WEBPAGES:
DHC-2 de Havilland Beaver
The six-passenger piston de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver is the most successful floatplane ever built, and has been the mainstay of our fleet since the early 1960’s. The Beaver sports a thick wing for maximum lift, a sturdy structure and a powerful, reliable 450-horsepower Pratt Whitney R-985 radial engine. The last brand new Beaver came off the line in 1967, however our fleet of Beavers have all been meticulously overhauled by our world-renown aircraft maintenance facility.
Time: ca 09:00
de Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver
Owner/operator: Kenmore Air
C/n / msn:
Fatalities: Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 4
Other fatalities: 0
Airplane damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location: between San Juan and Lopez Islands, WA - United States of America
Nature: Non Scheduled Passenger
The aircraft impacted the waters of the Pacific Ocean at Cattle Pass south of Lopez Island, Washington. The floatplane sank. The four occupants onboard received minor injuries and were rescued by a passing ship.