KETCHIKAN, Alaska, May 15, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — A Utah man is one of six people killed in a collision between two floatplanes carrying cruise ship passengers near the southeast Alaska town of Ketchikan Monday.
A news release from the Alaska Department of Public Safety said Ryan Wilk, 39, from Utah, passed away as a result of the collision.
Also deceased is the pilot of one of the planes, 46-year-old Randy Sullivan, from Ketchikan.
The other victims have been identified as Cassandra Webb, a 62-year-old female from Saint Louis, Missouri, Simon Bodie, a 56-year-old male from Tempe, New South Wales, Australia, Louis Botha, a 46-year-old female from San Diego, California and Elsa Wilk, a 37-year-old female from Richmond, British Columbia, Canada.
Next of kin have been notified, and the Canadian and Australian Consulates have also been informed of the incident, officials said.
An investigative team from the National Transportation Safety Board arrived in Alaska Tuesday to try to piece together what caused the midair collision between the two sightseeing planes, officials said.
Princess Cruises said one of the planes was flying a shore excursion sold through its cruise line, and that it was carrying ten guests and a pilot. The second plane, an independent flight tour, was carrying four people from the cruise ship Royal Princess as well as a pilot, it said. Officials have not said which of the planes the deceased persons were from.
Multiple people were rescued, according to Princess Cruises and the Coast Guard.
Both aircraft plunged into waters below, where they were submerged, officials said. Investigators believe one came to rest in a lake, the other in the ocean. It wasn’t clear how far apart the two planes were when they were submerged.
Gephardt Daily will have more on this developing story as information is made available.