One Cruise Passenger Killed, Five Injured in Alaska Shore Trip Crash

alaskaAlaska State Troopers have identified Thomas Rising, 66, a cruise ship passenger from New Mexico, as the man killed in a float plane crash on a mountainside near Petersburg, AK, earlier this week.

Five other cruise ship passengers and the aircraft's pilot were injured in the crash. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is investigating.

Rising and five other cruise ship passengers from the National Geographic Expeditions Sea Bird had booked the float plane trip as a scenic shore excursion. 

When the deHavilland Beaver, a fixed-wing, single-engine aircraft owned by Pacific Wings of Petersburg, did not return around 4 p.m. Tuesday as expected, a search was initiated.

The plane's emergency locator transmittor helped authorities find the crash site. Just before 7 p.m. Tuesday, a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter from Air Station Sitka located the wreckage at 1,000 feet up Thunder Mountain.

The six survivors were transported back to Petersburg Tuesday evening and received medical treatment. Some had serious injuries, but those were described by Alaska authorities as "not life threatening."

That said, one passenger sustained a broken back in the accident; another had a broken leg. Some passengers were transported by medivac aircraft to Seattle, where they are receiving additional treatment.

Pacific Wings, owned by Sunrise Aviation, provides flightseeing and air-taxi services around southeastern Alaska. 

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