Wreckage of seaplane found in Seattle after crash that killed 10

Wreckage from the float plane crash that killed 10 people has been recovered off the coast of Washington.  One of the plane's victims, Lauren Hilty (left) was in a relationship with actress Megan Hilty (Images: Facebook/National Transportation Safety Board/AP)

Wreckage from the float plane crash that killed 10 people has been recovered off the coast of Washington. One of the plane’s victims, Lauren Hilty (left) was in a relationship with actress Megan Hilty (Images: Facebook/National Transportation Safety Board/AP)

The wreckage of a floatplane that crashed off the coast of Washington state, killing 10 people, has been found on the seabed.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said the wreckage from the Sept. 4 crash was officially recovered Monday after conditions at the site made it more difficult to find the wreckage.

Both the depth of the water and the current of three to five knots contributed to the difficult recovery mission, officials said.

A large portion of the plane was located about 190 feet (58 meters) below the surface of Puget Sound near Whidbey Island using sonar, NTSB spokeswoman Jennifer Gabris told the Seattle Times.

The NTSB worked with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the University of Washington’s Applied Physics Laboratory to find the wreckage. Teams searched an area 2.8 by 1.2 kilometers around the area where witnesses to the crash said the plane had landed.

The search for the nine people missing after the crash was called off a week ago. Only one person in the body of the aircraft was rescued after the crash.

Among the passengers on the floatplane was Sandy Williams, 60, a civil rights activist and publisher of a newspaper, The Black Lens, in Spokane.

Williams also served as executive director of the Carl Maxey Center, a community-based organization that addresses the needs of Spokane’s black and African-American community.

Her partner, Patricia Hicks, also died in the crash. The couple was returning from a vacation in the San Juan Islands, Sandy Williams’ brother, Rick Williams, told The Spokesman-Review.

Also on the plane was Lauren Hilty, the pregnant sister of “Smash” actress Megan Hilty.

Lauren’s husband, winemaker Ross Mickel, and their child, Remy Mickel, were also on the plane and did not survive.

Also killed were passengers Patricia Hicks, Luke Ludwig, Rebecca Ludwig, Joanne Mera and Gabrielle Hanna.

Officials have since said the one body recovered from the crash was that of Gabrielle (Gabby) Hanna, who was from Seattle.

The plane’s pilot, Jason Winters, did not survive.

The de Havilland DHC-3 Otter floatplane was flying out of Friday Harbor on San Juan Island when it crashed in the Mutiny Bay area, west of Whidbey Island. He was headed to Renton, Washington.

The search was called off after a day after the US Coast Guard searched about 2,100 nautical miles and found only the body of one victim.

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