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Updated: Plane lands in water off Johns Island; no injuries reported
At 2:12 p.m., West Coast Air issued the following statement about today's emergency landing on the water off Johns Island:
A West Coast Air Twin Otter airplane bound for Richmond departed from Victoria today at 11:57 a.m. with two passengers and two crew members on board. After shutting down one engine as a precaution, the plane landed without incident near Stuart Island in the San Juan Islands.
All passengers and crew are safe and now being transported home.
Transport Canada and the Transportation Safety Board have both been notified of the incident.
A West Coast Air floatplane made an emergency landing in the water off the east coast of Johns Island shortly after noon today.
Four people were reportedly taken aboard the sailboat Winddancer. Undersheriff Jon Zerby reported at 12:58 p.m. that there were no injuries. All people on board are believed to have been accounted for. There were early reports that one of the plane's engines was on fire, but that could not be immediately confirmed.
Sheriff Bill Cumming reported at 1:06 p.m. that two passengers and crew were being taken to Roche Harbor onboard the sheriff's board Guardian.
The plane is described as a twin-engine DeHavilland Otter. The plane is capable of carrying 18 people, according to West Coast Air's Web site.
Private boats went to the area to assist. Emergency vessels carrying firefighters and EMTs were en route from Friday Harbor. Airlift Northwest was on standby in Bellingham,
Bob Miller of Humpback Hauling was on the water near the scene but didn't see the emergency landing. He said Vessel Assist was towing the plane, possibly to Roche Harbor. "It looked like it could have been worse," Miller said.
Miller said the plane had the letters CFMHR on its tail.
"We are aware of the incident and we are dealing with the situation at this time," said Ross MacDonald of West Coast Air, based in Vancouver, B.C. "It was a safe landing and there were no injuries or fatalities."
"We are unprepared to make any further statement at this time."