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Float Plane Crash Victim Recovered From Steep Mountainside

Photo courtesy of the Alaska State Troopers

Photo courtesy of the Alaska State Troopers

Alaska State Troopers and other rescuers Wednesday recovered the body of a Santa Fe man killed in Tuesday’s float plane crash near Petersburg.

Troopers have also released photographs of the crash site, showing the wrecked Pacific Wings deHavilland Beaver hanging on a steep hillside about 1000 feet up a mountain on the mainland near LeConte Bay.

Photo courtesy of the Alaska State Troopers

Photo courtesy of the Alaska State Troopers

66-year-old Thomas L. Rising of Santa Fe, New Mexico was killed in the crash. He and five others were passengers on the cruise ship Sea Bird, on an Alaska cruise offered by Lindblad Expeditions and National Geographic. Those five, along with the pilot, survived the crash and were rescued from the site Tuesday evening.

An article in Duke Today, the online news site for Duke University in Durham, North Carolina reported Wednesday that the flight was part of an optional tour as part of the Duke Alumni Travel program and that a family including four Duke alumni and one current student were the other passengers in the crash. The article names those passengers as Reverend Frank Allen, wife Amy and their three sons Will, Rob and Ben. Amy and Ben Allen were medevaced to Seattle for surgeries following the crash while the other three were treated and released from Petersburg Medical Center. Another 22 Duke alumni were on the cruise. The Duke Today article quotes law professor Thomas Metzloff, also on the trip, saying that it is “simply a miracle that they survived.”

Meanwhile, Lindblad Expeditions and National Geographic released a statement Wednesday saying the companies are deeply saddened by this tragedy. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the people involved in this accident and their families,” the statement says.

An investigator with the National Transportation Safety Board is in Petersburg this week compiling a report on the crash.

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