British Columbia

Passengers killed in floatplane crash were from U.S. and Germany, coroner says

Three passengers killed in a floatplane crash off the Central Coast of B.C. on Friday were visiting from the U.S. and Germany, the provincial coroner's office confirmed Tuesday.

4 people, including pilot, died when plane crashed into Addenbroke Island on Friday

A photo of the crash site on Addenbroke Island from a CC-115 Buffalo taken on the afternoon of Friday, July 26, 2019. Four people died and five others were injured when the Seair Seaplanes Cessna 208 went down around 11 a.m. PT. (442 Transport and Rescue Squadron/Canadian Armed Forces)

Three passengers killed in a floatplane crash off the Central Coast of B.C. on Friday were visiting from the U.S. and Germany, the provincial coroner's office confirmed Tuesday.

A statement said all three of the passengers who died were men: a passenger from South Carolina in his 40s, a passenger from Washington state in his 70s and a third visiting from Germany in his 60s.

The men were killed when a chartered Seair Seaplanes caravan crashed into the forest on Addenbroke Island just after 11 a.m. PT on Friday. The pilot of the Cessna 208 also died.

Five other passengers were injured.

The B.C. Coroner's Service did not release the deceased passengers' identities, beyond providing their ages.

A spokesperson for the German Consulate in Vancouver said it was "aware of the crash" when reached by phone Monday but would not provide further comment. 

Ole's Fishing Lodge, located northwest of Addenbroke Island, was the confirmed destination for a Cessna 208 that crashed the morning of Friday, July 26, 2019. (CBC)

Fishing trip

The plane was headed to Ole's Fishing Lodge from Vancouver airport. The floating, family-run lodge is sheltered in a bay off the northern end of Hecate Island along Hakai Pass. It's less than a two-hour flight from Vancouver and is a favourite destination for salmon and halibut fishing.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with our guests and their families. We have no details to provide at this time to allow our guests and their families time to process this tragedy," lodge owners Keith and Sari Olsen wrote in an emailed statement on Monday.

Seair runs charters direct to Ole's from its terminal in downtown Vancouver, usually beginning at 8 a.m. PT. The flight only had about 20 kilometres left in its 560-kilometre trip when it went down.

"Our thoughts are with those involved in the crash and their loved ones and we are devastated by this fatal accident," Seair said in a statement Friday.

Seair said pilot Al McBain had been with the company for 15 years. McBain's sister, Nathalie Chambers, said he was a fastidious, safety-oriented career pilot who was "born to fly."

Al McBain was an experienced pilot who was strict about safety, says his sister. (Facebook/Nathalie Chambers)

On Friday, health officials said two of the injured, surviving passengers were flown to hospital in Vancouver in critical condition after the crash, and three others were flown to Port Hardy on Vancouver Island in serious but stable condition.

The Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash. The RCMP said it is not investigating because it is not a criminal incident.

Corrections

  • A previous version of this story stated the Seair seaplane took off from Vancouver. In fact, it took off from Vancouver International Airport in Richmond.
    Jul 30, 2019 8:25 PM PT

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