One dead, at least eight others missing after floatplane crash

The Coast Guard said one person has died and at least eight others were the subjects of a search on waters near Seattle after a floatplane crashed.

The agency announced just before 6 p.m. that a body believed to be connected to the crash in Mutiny Bay had been recovered. “Eight individuals remain unaccounted for,” it said.

A de Havilland DHC-3 Otter floatplane went down off Whidbey Island about 3:10 p.m., the Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement.

The agency said initial reports indicates 10 people were on board. The Coast Guard’s count was nine, one of them possibly a child.

“A surface safety zone has been placed around the scene of the crash,” the Coast Guard said.

The agencies assisting the Coast Guard included the Island County Sheriff’s Office, the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office and South Whidbey Fire/EMS, the federal agency said.

The plane took off from Friday Harbor, Washington, roughly 100 miles north of Seattle, en route to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, the Coast Guard said. The crash site off Whidbey Island is about 40 miles north of Seattle.

The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate.

Floatplanes like the de Havilland usually use parallel pontoons for takeoffs and landings using waterways instead of runways. The plane was designed as a short-takeoff-and-landing aircraft, which are favored for locations where runways are comparatively short.

Todd Miyazawa and Jay Blackman contributed.

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