A Promech float plane with nine people on board apparently went down near Ella Lake in Misty Fiords National Monument. The plane was reported overdue this afternoon, according to U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Kelly Parker.
“The Coast Guard received a request from Promech Air to assist in a search for an overdue aircraft. The Coast Guard was in the process of launching a helicopter from Air Station Sitka and a vessel from Station Ketchikan, when a Temsco Helicopter crew located the aircraft on the cliffside of Ella Lake. At this time, Alaska State Troopers are coordinating the response at the site with the Ketchikan Volunteer Rescue Squad.”
Alaska State Troopers Spokeswoman Megan Peters says in a written statement that the plane was about 800 feet above the lake, against a rock face. The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board have been advised of the accident.
There was no information at deadline on the condition of the people on board. Names of the eight passengers and one pilot were not available.
KVRS representatives were unavailable for comment, and an employee who answered the phone at Promech says the company is not commenting at this time.
Promech is a Ketchikan-based company that offers flightseeing tours and charters. The eight passengers on the plane had been cruising the Inside Passage on Holland America’s Westerdam, according to a statement from the cruise line.
According to the statement, company officials are sending their thoughts and prayers to the eight passengers and their family members, and offer their full support to those passengers’ traveling companions.
The Westerdam is on a seven-day roundtrip cruise from Seattle. It departed that port on June 20.
This is a breaking news story, check back for updates.