A float plane crashed on Sunday afternoon to the west of Whidbey Island, leaving one person dead and nine others missing.
Just about 3 o’clock, the aircraft crashed nearby Mutiny Bay.
The plane crashed into the water nose first, according to the first 9-1-1 calls. Many of the island residents who heard the explosion described being perplexed by what they had heard.
Rick Rasmussen, who was on the beach with his wife when the jet went down, said it sounded like dynamite went exploded.
Rasmussen was more over a mile from the shore when he noticed a splash that he guessed to be 20 to 30 feet in the air. Despite not seeing the plane itself, he did see it. He wasn’t initially certain if a boat had exploded or something else.
We didn’t observe anyone being pulled in or scooping up any debris, he claimed. “We were unable to see anything. Even with binoculars, we were unable to make out any details.”
Prior to losing contact with its tracking system, the plane, according to Flight Aware, was going at a speed of about 100 mph.
The plane went down as it was its route from Friday Harbor to Renton carrying the pilot and 9 other passengers, one of whom was a kid.
A large group had departed San Juan Island earlier in the day, according to friends of the victims who declined to provide their names. Some of the group were on another charter, while the rest were on the plane that crashed.
The U.S. Coast Guard stated that they are still referring to this as a search-and-rescue operation despite the frigid water temperatures and the length of time after the initial collision.
The Navy has been enlisted to supplement nightly search efforts in addition to assistance from Whidbey Island Fire, Island County Sheriff’s Office, and the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Department.
Lt. Jon Gabelein of the Whidbey Island Fire Department said, “It was confirmed that the Coast Guard and agencies have night capabilities so we’re ready to go into the darkness.”
The plane had already fallen beneath the waves, according to Gabelein, who claimed that the initial accident instantly led their employees out of the water. The first to come were civilians who were already on the lake, although the aftermath of the disaster was barely noticeable.
The fact that the water was rushing swiftly throughout the rescue operations made things more challenging, requiring repeated crew changes on the west side of Whidbey Island.
According to Gabelein, “We found one person and brought them on our rescue boat here to the boat launch.” “And we’re still searching as the tide and the current change. There is constant movement outside, so we don’t stay in one location for too long.”
Late in the dark, two Coast Guard vessels made their way back to a local boat launch with the wreckage. Although it is unknown what information might be found in the wreckage, the NTSB intends to take over the crash investigation as the Coast Guard continues its search operations.
At this point, it is unclear what caused the incident.