Five Holland America Line Sightseers and Pilot Die in Thursday Misty Fjords Beaver Crash

MH-60 Jayhawk. Image-U.S. Coast Guard photo by Lt. Brian Dykens
MH-60 Jayhawk. Image-U.S. Coast Guard photo by Lt. Brian Dykens

On Thursday morning, the crash of a Southeast Aviation De Haviland Beaver on floats outside of Ketchikan in the Misty Fjords area took the lives of five passengers and the pilot according to reports.

The aircraft with five guests of Holland America Line cruise ship Nieuw Amsterdam departed Misty Fjords and were returning to Ketchikan when the flight went down. The cruise ship was winding down its seven-day cruise that originated in Seattle.

The crash was reported to AST at 11:21 am on Thursday after triggering the aircraft’s Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) after going down.

“The US Coast Guard, Alaska State Troopers, Alaska Wildlife Troopers, US Forest Service, and volunteers from the Ketchikan Volunteer Rescue Squad responded to the area,” troopers reported.

But, poor visibility and inclement weather hampered search efforts for part of the afternoon. At 2:37 pm, a Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter reported finding the crash site in a steep, mountainous area of Misty Fjords. Two rescue swimmers were lowered to the wreckage who reported that all persons in the crash were deceased.

Troopers, volunteers with the Ketchikan Volunteer Rescue Squad began recovery efforts. Those efforts will continue today.

The National Transportation Safety Board was notified of the crash and they will work to identify the cause.