Coast Guard suspends search for missing man from plane crash off Bainbridge Island

A 45-foot Response Boat-Medium from Coast Guard Station Seattle

Coast Guard Stationt Seattle 45-foot Response Boat-Medium File Photo

SEATTLE — The Coast Guard has suspended the search for a 70-year-old man missing from a plane crash in Eagle Harbor, off Bainbridge Island, Wash.

Coast Guard command personnel have been in contact with the families of those affected by the incident, and we extend our deepest condolences to those affected by this tragedy, as well as thank all of our partner agencies and community members who assisted with search efforts for their dedication and service to the public.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound were notified at 5:13 p.m., that people aboard a vessel in the area saw an aircraft crash into the water near Eagle Harbor, and upon further inspection the good Samaritans were able to rescue a woman found bleeding and floating in the water.

At the same time, a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew from Coast Guard Station Seattle and an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station/Sector Field Office Port Angeles launched in response. Members of Seattle Harbor Patrol, North Kitsap Fire and Rescue, Bainbridge Police Department and more also assisted in the search, as well as approximately 20 Good Samaritan vessel crews.

The aircraft was reported as a 1974 two-seater, fixed-wing, single-engine airplane, with two people aboard and crashed in the water that’s about 100-feet deep. The injured female found floating at the crash location was taken to Harborview Medical Center in reportedly critical condition.

A crew aboard the Kitsap Marine 81, a North Kitsap fire-rescue vessel, used a side-scan SONAR to search the area but were unable to locate the sunken aircraft.

The Coast Guard aircrew searched until after sunset and headed back to the air station shortly before 10 p.m., while boat crews from Station Seattle and the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Adelie searched throughout the night and following morning.

Searches were also conducted along the shores of the Eagle Harbor entrance, southern Bainbridge Island, and from Blakely Harbor to Restoration Point.

No pollution, no debris and no impact on marine traffic has been reported at the location and surrounding area of the crash

Weather on scene was 1-foot high seas, 5 to 11-MPH winds, clear visibility, air temperature of 73 F and water temperature of 47 F.

The search may resume pending additional information.

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