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Plane Crashes in Alaska; All Onboard Survive, Coast Guard Says

A Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk. Coast Guard photo
A Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk. Coast Guard photo

A plane headed to Haines from Juneau crashed into Lynn Canal with four people onboard Wednesday afternoon after its engine died, Coast Guard spokesperson Petty Officer Meredith Manning said.

All four passengers survived, although neither Manning or National Transportation Safety Board Alaska chief Clint Johnson knew their conditions as of Wednesday night.

According to Manning, around 2:30 p.m. the Coast Guard received a mayday call from the pilot of the privately owned Cessna 180. The pilot told the Coast Guard he was going to try to land on a beach just south of Berners Bay.

The pilot didn't make it to the beach and instead went into the water. All four people onboard swam to shore, where they were met by a small boat from Coast Guard Station Juneau and two helicopters.

One of the helicopters flew one person to Bartlett Regional Hospital in Juneau and the other flew the remaining three to the Juneau airport, where they were met by emergency responders and driven to the hospital.

Johnson said the NTSB has an investigator standing by, but because the Cessna is a wheeled aircraft and it landed in water, the NTSB is unsure if the plane will be reachable.

"Preliminary reports (say) that it did sink -- we don't know how deep," Johnson said. "If it's in shallow water, we could get it out, but if it's in 300 or 400 feet of water, we probably can't get to it."

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