Ketchikan Volunteer Rescue Squad personnel land and disembark from a Hughes 369D helicopter on Thursday, Aug. 5, 2021, at Temsco Helicopters in Ketchikan, Alaska. (Associated Press)
The plane, a single-engine DeHavilland DHC-2 Beaver, took off from Misty Fjords National Monument and crashed around 11:20 a.m. in an area of steep, mountainous terrain near Ketchikan, about 300 miles southeast of Juneau, officials with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) told the Anchorage Daily News.
There was mist and light rain at the time of the crash, the Coast Guard said, along with 8 mph winds and visibility of two miles.
The five passengers on the flight were from the Holland America Line cruise ship, Nieuw Amsterdam, the company said in a statement.
“We can confirm that a float plane carrying five guests from Nieuw Amsterdam was involved in an accident in Ketchikan, and there are no survivors,” the company tweeted. “It was an independent tour not sold by Holland America Line. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of the victims.”
The Coast Guard, Alaska State Troopers, U.S. Forest Service, and the Ketchikan Volunteer Rescue Squad (KVRS) responded to the downed aircraft and a helicopter spotted the wreckage on a ridgeline, according to the Coast Guard. The aircraft was owned by Southeast Aviation LLC.