Floatplane crashes in San Juan Islands

LOPEZ ISLAND, Wash. — Good Samaritans rushed to rescue four people on a floatplane that crashed and sank in the waters of the San Juan Islands Friday.

Key developments: 

  • The Kenmore Air flight departed from Seattle's Lake Union at 8 a.m. 
  • It crashed into the waters of Cattle Pass, between the south end of Lopez Island and San Juan Island, at 8:45 a.m. 
  • The pilot said the plane sank.
  • 2 patients from the Float Plane Crash in Friday Harbor transported to Harborview from Peace Island Medical.
  • Peace Island Medical says the other two patients have been discharged in good condition. 

The plane was heading to Roche Harbor.

The Coast Guard was notified by Kenmore Air at 9:13 a.m. after the airline received an electronic emergency signal from its plane, a de Havilland Turbine Beaver.

>>TIMELINE: Floatplane crashes in the last 5 years

The Coast Guard also received a mayday call from a Good Samaritan on the private vessel the Northern Rose.

The pilot and three passengers, one woman and three men, were rescued from the water by a couple on that boat.

Two people aboard the plane were transferred to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle by air.

Hospital officials said Friday afternoon a woman was listed in satisfactory condition.

A man was listed in serious condition and was in intensive care for observation. Still, his condition was not considered life threatening.

The airline said the A de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver left Kenmore Friday morning with two passengers aboard bound for Roche Harbor.

It stopped in Lake Union to pick up another passenger, who was to be dropped off in Fisherman Bay on Lopez Island.

Good Samaritans -- including a dog -- rushed to rescue four people on a floatplane that crashed and sank in the waters of the San Juan Islands today. >> kiro.tv/FloatPlaneCrash

Posted by KIRO 7 News on Friday, September 30, 2016

The cause of the crash is unclear, but fog was thick in the area on Friday morning. The Coast Guard said the visibility in the area is only a quarter-mile.

Crews from the Cutter Henry Blake and Station Bellingham are heading to the scene of the wreck to monitor the pollution threat from the sunken aircraft.

It is not yet known if there is a possibility of salvaging the plane.

The airline has flights that include Seattle to Victoria, B.C., Seattle to the San Juan Islands and offers various scenic tours and charter flights as well.

Several float planes crashes have happened in the last five years in nearby waters from nearby Northwest islands, British Columbia and Alaska.

See a timeline of those incidents here or below.

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