Two floatplanes with a combined total of 16 people on board crashed Monday afternoon in the George Inlet area near Ketchikan.

U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer Jon-Paul Rios said around 1:30 p.m. Monday that they received notice of the accident about 40 minutes earlier and all information is preliminary.

“We immediately launched multiple assets to include an MH-60 from Air Station Sitka, which is one of our helicopters, along with two small boats from Coast Guard Station Ketchikan,” he said.  

Rios said the small boats were on scene along with local rescue crews and good Samaritans looking for anyone in the water.

“From what’s been reported, 10 people are said to be on the beach nearby with injuries, and we are still searching for the rest,” he said.

Rios said the cause of the accident is unknown.

“We don’t know if the incidents were – if one had a hand in the other,” he said. “We don’t know. That’s all stuff we’re looking into, but as of right now safety of life at sea is of the utmost importance so that’s what we’re focusing on.”

Rios said more information will be available later.

This is a developing story; check back for updates.

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