Alaska float plane crashes, killing cruise vacationers on an excursion

Holland America Line confirmed Friday that a float plane carrying five passengers from the Nieuw Amsterdam crashed on Aug. 5 while the ship was docked in Ketchikan, Alaska. 

All five passengers and the pilot died in the crash, HAL said, and their next of kin have been notified. Counseling services from Holland America have been made available to guests and crew.

The excursion was independently operated by Southeast Aviation and not sold by Holland America, the line said.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of the victims and with our guests and team members who are affected by this tragedy,” HAL said in a statement. 

The Nieuw Amsterdam currently is near the end of a seven-day Alaska cruise that departed Seattle on July 31. The ship will arrive as scheduled in Seattle on Aug. 7.

According to the Anchorage Daily News, a statement from Southeast Aviation on Aug. 5 said, “We are cooperating with the first responders and agencies involved, including the U.S. Coast Guard, National Transportation Safety Board and Alaska State Troopers. All of us share in the anguish of this tragic incident, and our prayers go out to all affected.” 

The floatplane excursion to Misty Fjords National Monument in the Tongass National Forest was headed back to Ketchikan when it crashed. 

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