Sunday,  August 18, 2019  11:29 am

Six confirmed dead in Princess Cruises floatplane crash

Six confirmed dead in Princess Cruises floatplane crash
A floatplane operated by Taquan Air, pictured here, was returning from a Misty Fjords tour that carried 10 guests from Royal Princess, as well as a pilot, when it was involved in a fatal crash with another floatplane. Photo: Taquan Air.
Christine Hogg

Christine Hogg is the Associate Digital Editor at PAX Global Media. Prior to joining PAX, she obtained her Honours BA in Journalism from the University of Toronto. Upon graduating, she went on to write for several travel publications while travelling the world. Her longest trip was a three-week stint in Europe, and the shortest was a 16-hour adventure in Iceland. Get in touch: christine@paxglobalmedia.com.

Following a deadly crash involving two floatplanes that were used to operate excursions by Princess Cruises for guests of the Royal Princess, six people have been confirmed dead, including one Canadian.

Thirty-seven year-old Elsa Wisk, of Richmond, B.C. was named by Global Affairs Canada and the Alaska State Troopers late Tuesday evening. Wisk and an Australia were previously reported by officials as missing following the incident.

On May 13 at 1:08 p.m. local time, a small float plane operated by Taquan Air that was flying a shore excursion sold by Princess Cruises was involved in an accident at approximately eight (8) nautical miles from Ketchikan, AK. The flight was returning from a Misty Fjords tour and carried 10 guests from Royal Princess, as well as a pilot.

A second float plane carrying four guests from an independent Royal Princess tour then collided with the first plane.

Six dead

Previously, it had been reported that four passengers were killed, and two were missing. According to the Canadian Press, the U.S. Coast Guard said the bodies of the two missing people were recovered near the crash site Tuesday night. 

The American victims identified were 46-year-old pilot Randy Sullivan from Ketchikan, 62-year-old Cassandra Webb, 39-year-old Ryan Wilk and 46-year-old Louis Botha. State troopers said the Australian was 56-year-old Simon Bodie.

“All of us at Princess Cruises are deeply saddened by this tragic news and we are extending our full support to the investigating authorities as well as the traveling companions of the guests involved. We immediately activated our Princess Care Team employees in the region and sent additional team members to Ketchikan overnight to assist the families impacted,” said Brian O’Connor, a spokesman for Princess Cruises.

There is not yet any information as to what caused the crash. Investigations are currently underway.

Royal Princess is sailing a seven-day Voyage of the Glaciers cruise that departed Vancouver on May 11 and is scheduled to arrive in Anchorage on Saturday, May 18. Royal Princess departed Ketchikan approximately 3.5 hours late and will arrive in Juneau at approximately 11:30 local time.


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