LANGLEY, Wash. (AP/KOIN) — Search efforts have been called off after one person was killed and nine people went missing once a float plane crashed in the Puget Sound in Washington state on Sunday, the U.S. Coast Guard said.
The agency said via Twitter Sunday afternoon that the plane was flying from Friday Harbor, a popular tourist destination in the San Juan Islands, to Renton, Washington. Previously the Coast Guard had said the plane was flying to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.
The crash happened in Mutiny Bay, off Whidbey Island, about 40 miles northwest of Seattle.
The Coast Guard said one body was recovered and nine people remain missing. There were 10 people aboard, 9 adults and one child.
By midday Monday, the Coast Guard announced it had suspended its active search for the remaining missing people. In a 12:20 p.m. tweet, the Coast Guard said its assets “completed 26 search sorites, covering 1,283 linear nautical miles and saturating an area of more than 2,100 sq. nautical miles.”
“All next of kin have been notified of this decision,” the tweet read. “Our hearts go out to the families, loved ones and friends of those who remain missing and the deceased.”
Float planes, planes that have pontoons allowing them to land on water, are a common sight around the Puget Sound, an inlet of the Pacific Ocean. There are multiple, daily flights between the Seattle area and the San Juan Islands, a scenic archipelago northwest of Seattle that draws tourists from around the world.
The aircraft, which also fly between Seattle and Vancouver, British Columbia, frequently fly through Seattle and land in a lake not far from the city’s iconic Space Needle.
Renton, where authorities say the flight was headed Sunday, is at the southern tip of Lake Washington about 10 miles southeast of Seattle.
In May 2019, six people were killed in a midair collision between two Alaska sightseeing planes. The Ketchikan-based floatplanes carrying passengers from the same cruise ship, the Royal Princess, were returning from tours of Misty Fjords National Monument.
KOIN 6 News contributed to this story by The Associated Press.