SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

6 Fatalities in Plane Crash Near Ketchikan



August 05, 2021
Thursday PM

(SitNews) Ketchikan, Alaska - Today at approximately 11:21 AM, the Alaska State Troopers were notified of a possible plane crash just outside of Ketchikan in the Misty Fjords area. was activated near the Misty Fjords area. A Temsco Helicopter reported sighting wreckage on a ridgeline in the search area. 

Initial reports indicated that a Southeast Aviation De Haviland Beaver, with tail number N1249K, had five passengers and one pilot aboard and had reportedly triggered an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB.) at 11:20 a.m.

jpg A glimpse of Misty Fjords, a long-popular tourist attraction

A glimpse of Misty Fjords, a long-popular tourist attraction.
Photo courtesy Southeast Aviation

The US Coast Guard, Alaska State Troopers, Alaska Wildlife Troopers, US Forest Service, and volunteers from the Ketchikan Volunteer Rescue Squad responded to the area to attempt to locate the crash site. Poor visibility and deteriorating weather hampered aerial search efforts for part of the afternoon.

At approximately 2:37 this afternoon, the US Coast Guard discovered the crash site in a steep mountainous area near Misty Fjords; an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Sitka located the wreckage at 2:37 p.m. and lowered two rescue swimmers who reported who reported no survivors. One pilot and five passengers were reportedly aboard the aircraft owned by Southeast Aviation LLC. All six occupants of the aircraft were deceased.

An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Sitka located the wreckage at 2:37 p.m. and lowered two rescue swimmers.

The names of the deceased have not been announced pending notification of next of kin.

The five passengers on the flight were passengers from Holland America Cruise Line ship Nieuw Amsterdam, according to a statment. The ship ported in Ketchikan Thursday and has delayed its afternoon departure after the fatal crash. Counseling services are being made available to passengers and crew of the Nieuw Amsterdam. According to Holland America Line, the float plane excursions was offered by an independent tour operator and was not sold by Holland America.

The Alaska State Troopers and volunteers from the Ketchikan Volunteer Rescue Squad will coordinate recovery efforts of the deceased from the crash site today and tomorrow.

A Coast Guard Station Ketchikan 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew, Coast Guard Cutter Liberty, and ground, boat, and air crews from the Alaska State Troopers, U.S. Forest Service, and KVRS responded to the incident. 

Weather conditions on scene were 8 mph winds, visibility of two miles, ceilings of 900 feet with a mist and light rain. 

The NTSB has been notified and will be investigating the cause of the crash. The Federal Aviation Administraton (FAA) also will investigate.

Most recently, two sightseeing planes collided in midair in 2019, killing six of the 16 people on board.



Related Article:

In Alaska, Commercial Aviation Is a Lifeline. The State Is Also Home to a Growing Share of the Country’s Deadly Crashes. By by Zoë Sobel, KUCB, and Agnel Philip, ProPublica
SitNews - Creative Commons License publication permission


Source of News:


Alaska Department of Public Safety

Representations of fact and opinions in comments posted are solely those of the individual posters and do not represent the opinions of Sitnews.

Send a letter to the

Contact the Editor

SitNews ©2021
Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska

 Articles & photographs that appear in SitNews are considered protected by copyright and may not be reprinted without written permission from and payment of any required fees to the proper freelance writers and subscription services.

E-mail your news & photos to

Photographers choosing to submit photographs for publication to SitNews are in doing so granting their permission for publication and for archiving. SitNews does not sell photographs. All requests for purchasing a photograph will be emailed to the photographer.