A floatplane bound for the Seattle area carrying nine adults and one child crashed in Mutiny Bay, west of Whidbey Island, in Washington state Sunday, the U.S. Coast Guard said.
The latest: On Tuesday, the Coast Guard released the names of the 10 people who were on the plane, after announcing the discovery of one body and suspending the search for the others.
- Those on board the seaplane were pilot Jason Winters, Patricia Hicks, Sandra Williams, Lauren Hilty, Remy Nickel (a minor), Ross Mickel, Luke Ludwig, Rebecca Ludwig, Joanne Mera, and Gabrielle Hanna.
- “Joanne Mera was someone everyone gravitated towards,” her niece, Sami Sullivan, told the Seattle Times. “She was the life of any party and the soul of our family. She was the best mom, wife, sister and friend.”
- The Coast Guard has not yet publicly identified the body it found on Sunday.
State of play: The Coast Guard tweeted Monday that it was suspending the search for the remaining nine missing people after crews worked through the night and well into the morning to look for them.
- “All next of kin have been notified of this decision. Our hearts go out to the families, loved ones and friends of those who remain missing and the deceased,” the Coast Guard said.
Details: The plane had departed from Friday Harbor and was en route to Renton Municipal Airport, some 12 miles southeast of downtown Seattle, when reports of the crash came in at 3:11pm local time, the Coast Guard said. An earlier statement said the destination was Seattle Tacoma International Airport.
- “A surface safety zone has been placed around the scene of the crash,” the Coast Guard tweeted.
- The National Transportation Safety Board announced in a statement that it’s investigating the crash of the de Havilland DHC-3 Otter, a single-engine propeller plane.
The big picture: Floatplanes, which contain pontoons that enable them to land on water, are often seen flying over the Puget Sound between the Seattle area and San Juan Islands, AP notes.