The U.S. Coast Guard has identified one of the victims who recently died in a plane crash off Puget Sound. The crash killed ten people, including the pilot and a child.
According to reports, 60-year-old Sandy Williams was on board the fatal plane, which crashed near Seattle, Washington. When authorities called off the search, rescuers had recovered one body.
The Coast Guard later confirmed that Williams’ body was the only one the team found during their rescue operation.
According to Williams’ brother, Rick, she was returning from a vacation on the San Juan Islands off the coast of Washington with other family members when the crash off Puget Sound happened. He said that his sister was due to celebrate her 61st birthday in the coming days.
On Monday afternoon, the Coast Guard suspended the search for survivors after surveying the area of more than 2,100 square nautical miles.
“All next of kin have been notified of this decision,” the Coast Guard wrote on Twitter. “Our hearts go out to the families, loved ones and friends of those who remain missing and the deceased.”
According to Coast Guard spokesperson William Colclough, the Northwest Seaplanes flight left the San Juan Islands earlier in the day and headed to Renton Municipal Airport, the company’s base.
The plane tragically went down in Mutiny Bay off Whidbey Island, roughly 30 miles northwest of Seattle.
U.S Coast Guard calls off search, nine victims still missing
The Coast Guard later learned through the seaplane company’s owner that two Friday Harbor seaplanes took off Sunday afternoon and the owner was aboard one of the flights, said Scott Giard, with U.S. Coast Guard Pacific Northwest Search and Rescue.
The owner told authorities he saw the other plane divert off course, and he tried to make radio contact but could not get in touch with the pilot.
“Shortly after that, he noticed on his flight tracker that the flight had stopped tracking and notified authorities,” Giard added.
Officials later reported that “the aircraft dropped suddenly at a fair amount of speed and hit the water,” Giard said. “We don’t have any video or pictures of the incident as of this moment.”
“It is always difficult when it comes time to make a decision to stop searching,” Capt. Daniel Broadhurst, incident management branch chief for the 13th Coast Guard District, said in the release.
“The hearts of all the first responders go out to those who lost a family member, a loved one, or a friend in the crash.”
Rick Rasmussen was on the beach with his wife when the plane crashed and later told news outlets that they heard a loud boom followed by water shooting up 20 to 30 feet in the air.
“It sounded like dynamite went off,” Rasmussen told a local news outlet, saying they were looking through binoculars but couldn’t see any debris.
The cause of the crash has not yet been released.