The Latest: Retired fisherman saved plane crash passengers

May 16, 2019
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In this photo provided by the National Transportation Safety Board, NTSB investigator Clint Crookshanks, left, and member Jennifer Homendy stand near the site of some of the wreckage of the DHC-2 Beaver, Wednesday, May 15, 2019, that was involved in a midair collision near Ketchikan, Alaska, a couple of days earlier. (Peter Knudson/NTSB via AP)

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The Latest on the midair collision of two sightseeing floatplanes in Alaska that killed six people (all times local):

6:15 a.m.

A retired Alaska fisherman who was on the water in a small skiff when two sightseeing floatplanes collided in midair says he saw one of the planes land and sink, leaving “people bobbing all over the place.”

Chuck Hanas told NBC’s Today Show that that the plane hit the water so hard that its floats were ripped off. Then it turned upside down and sank.

He says he motored closer to the site and got people out of the icy water. Hanas says he was in the right place at the right time.

Ten people survived Monday’s crash of the two planes and six were killed near the cruise ship port town of Ketchikan. The 14 passengers on the two planes were all were passengers on the cruise ship Royal Princess, which is on a seven-day trip in Alaska. One of the two pilots died.

Authorities have started recovering the wreckage of the planes.


12 a.m.

A newly married couple, a pilot who used his family’s savings to buy his own plane, a devoted family man from Australia and an office manager at an insurance company with a vivacious personality and a heart of gold were among the six victims in this week’s deadly midair collision of two sightseeing planes in Alaska.

Responders in Ketchikan, Alaska recovered the wreckage of the larger of the two planes that collided this week, according to federal accident investigators. It was lifted onto a barge. Officials say recovering the smaller plane will take longer. (May 16)

Ten others survived the Monday crash over an inlet in southeast Alaska near the cruise ship port community of Ketchikan. All 14 were passengers on the cruise ship Royal Princess, which is on a seven-day trip in Alaska.

Alaska State Troopers identified the passengers who died as 46-year-old Louis Botha of San Diego, 56-year-old Simon Bodie from Tempe, New South Wales, Australia, 62-year-old Cassandra Webb from St. Louis, 39-year-old Ryan Wilk from Utah and 37-year-old Elsa Wilk of Richmond, British Columbia, Canada. Also killed was the pilot of one of the planes, 46-year-old Randy Sullivan of Ketchikan.

Authorities have begun to recover the wreckage of the planes.

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