Coast Guard Suspends Search for Victims of Puget Sound Plane Crash

by Shelby Scott

On Sunday, news broke that a float plane carrying a total 10 people, including at least one child, crashed in the waters of Puget Sound. Puget Sound is located in northwestern Washington. Immediately after the crash was reported, the U.S. Coast Guard launched a search, though so far, just one body has been found and nine others remain missing. 24 hours later, the Coast Guard called off the search, expressing their sympathies for the victims’ friends and loved ones.

According to the AP, the Coast Guard suspended the search for the plane crash victims on Monday afternoon. The outlet reports the involved search parties, which also included first responders, covered an area that spanned more than 2,100 square nautical miles. That approximately translates to 2,800 square miles.

After calling off the search, the Coast Guard wrote online, “All next of kin have been notified of this decision. Our hearts go out to the families, loved ones and friends of those who remain missing and the deceased.”

A previous report states that the 10th victim had been found dead on Sunday by a good Samaritan. The cause of the plane crash remains unknown. But, eyewitnesses have reportedly stated they saw the craft “nose dive into the water.” The outlet further assures us that the National Transportation Safety Board will be sending their own team of seven to investigate the crash of the downed float plane.

Authorities Detail the Expansive Search Following the Plane Crash

After the initial plane crash on Sunday, the Coast Guard shared early on Monday that crews searched an expansive area throughout Sunday night. Sadly, though, “no additional individuals were recovered and no debris [was] spotted,” adding, “Coast Guard aircraft are beginning a search this morning.” The statement came before authorities called off their search later that same day.

The now-canceled search involved four Coast Guard vessels, a rescue helicopter, and an aircraft. That’s in addition to nearby rescue and law enforcement agencies. Reports state that the plane crash occurred in Mutiny Bay off of Whidbey Island. The island lies about 30 miles northwest of downtown Seattle.

According to the news outlet, the plane involved in the crash was a DHC-3 Turbine Otter. The craft belonged to Northwest Seaplanes, a family-owned business founded by a man named Clyde Carlson. A woman who answered the company’s phone, named Michelle, said they are simply waiting on further information following the crash and are devastated to hear about the it and the missing passengers. The company’s website boasts they’ve had 24 years of “accident and incident-free flying.”

The plane involved in the Sunday crash had launched from Friday Harbor, which the outlet states is a popular tourist destination in the San Juan Islands, having departed for Renton Municipal Airport. Renton Municipal serves as the small company’s base.