AD Main Menu

Four injured in Southeast Alaska tour plane crash

Sean Doogan
A de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver, similar to the one pictured, went down Wednesday on Prince of Wales Island near Ketchikan, injuring four people. Department of Interior photo

The U.S. Coast Guard said it has rescued a pilot and three passengers from Prince of Wales Island, in Southeast Alaska, after a Wednesday plane crash near Thorne Bay, 400 miles southeast of Juneau.

The identities of the crash survivors have not yet been released, but the Coast Guard said all four suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

The Coast Guard said the de Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver went down after suffering engine trouble near Lake Galea, also known as Honker Lake, around noon Wednesday. An emergency transponder onboard the plane alerted the Coast Guard to its crash and location.

A Sitka-based Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter was able to spot the wreckage from the air, and hoisted two people aboard to be taken to a hospital in Ketchikan, about 50 air miles from the crash site. Two other people, with minor injuries, were initially left behind because of weight limit concerns according to a Coast Guard spokesperson. They were picked up later that same afternoon, and also taken to Ketchikan.

The plane was on a short tour, and was operated by Promech Air -- a Ketchikan-based floatplane flightseeing company, when it went down in trees near the southern end of Galea Lake, according to Alaska State Troopers.

A supervisor at the Ketchikan Medical Center refused to discuss the crash survivors' condition, but did say they were being treated in the Emergency Room.

Contact Sean Doogan at sean(at)alaskadispatch.com