Written by Jen Finn
July 23, 2013
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A plane-boat collision near King Salmon Sunday left the plane flipped on the Naknek River with its seven occupants underwater, but Alaska State Troopers say everyone involved survived with only minor injuries.
According to a Monday AST dispatch the Cessna 207 floatplane, piloted by 62-year-old Raymond Petersen of King Salmon, was taking off upriver at about noon Sunday. The plane struck a guide fishing boat with three people aboard, operated by 29-year-old Ted Gibson of Wisconsin.
"During the collision, the three occupants of the guide boat were thrown from the vessel and into the river," troopers wrote. "The Cessna 207 then flipped upside down in the river with seven people on board."
Troopers say several other fishing boats approached to help the vehicles' occupants, all of whom safely escaped. Two people from the plane and one person from the boat were evaluated at the Naknek Clinic for what appeared to be minor injuries.
According to National Transportation Safety Board spokesperson Clint Johnson, the aircraft -- flown by Katmai Air and had been retrofitted with a turbine engine -- had been en route to Brooks Camp, in the Katmai National Park and Preserve. Investigators are attempting to recover the aircraft from the river Monday morning.
"The airplane flipped over and partially sank – it's being held up by the floats right now," Johnson said.
Johnson says there's no shared radio channel for marine and aviation traffic, and that the collision occurred near the local airport.
"Obviously there's boat traffic as well as arriving and departing plane traffic," Johnson said. "We're trying to figure out what happened."
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