UPDATE — 6-11-18, 2:10 p.m.
The search party has found the body of the missing passenger. No names are being released at this time in order to notify next of kin. “Our deepest condolences go out to all the families and friends of these two men,” said Coast Guard Petty Officer Charly Hengen.
With the search concluded, the Alaska State Troopers and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) are leading an investigation. Two NTSB agents – Noreen Price and Eric Swenson – are flying from Anchorage today and will be on scene for the next two to three days.
“The intent for the next 24 hours, or as soon as possible, is to get to the accident site and document to the best of our ability,” said Clint Johnson, Alaska Region Chief for NTSB. “[The plane] is partially submerged in some brackish water. Then, we’ll go into recovery of the wreckage.”
UPDATE — 6-11-18, 12:40 p.m.
Search teams from the Sitka Firehall have returned. A total of 15 personnel in two boats were active for about three hours this morning. The identification of victims is pending notification of next of kin.
UPDATE — 6-11-18, 11:45 a.m.
One person is dead and another missing after a small plane crashed during a weekend sightseeing trip north of Sitka.
According to the Coast Guard, a Piper float plane with two people aboard departed Sitka on Saturday night (06-09-18) for a 20-minute flight and never returned.
After an extensive search, an Air Station Sitka helicopter crew found the wrecked plane in the Katlian River where it meets the Katlian Bay on Sunday night (06-10-18). The pilot was reported deceased in the aircraft and a passenger is still missing.
The Coast Guard is notifying next of kin and has released neither the passengers’ names nor where they hailed from.
“We are continuing our search for that second person right now. The small boat crew Bailey Barco is on scene and also another crew from Air Station Sitka,” said Coast Guard Petty Officer Charly Hengen, Public Affairs Specialist in Kodiak.
The Alaska State Troopers and two agents with the National Transportation Safety Board are conducting an investigation of the incident.
The plane is a white and red colored PA-18 Super Cub float plane. It departed the Sitka seaplane dock on Saturday for the 20-minute tour of Katlian Bay and Olga Strait, just north of Sitka.
This is a developing story. We’ll post updates within this article as they are made available on Raven News this evening at 4:49 p.m. 104.7 FM or live stream.