Floatplane flips in Tofino Harbour

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After hitting a sandbar upon takeoff, an Atleo River Air Service float plane tipped in the Tofino harbour around 11:45 a.m. on Monday morning.

All four passengers and the pilot aboard the plane survived with minor injuries and are being treated at the Tofino General Hospital, according to Tofino RCMP Sgt. Colin Douglas.

Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council (NTC) President Judith Sayers was one of the passengers onboard the aircraft, which was on route to Hot Springs Cove.

Sayers reported to the NTC that she was not seriously hurt and is awaiting a medical assessment before being cleared.

The pilot is one of the airline’s most experienced, said Misty Lawson, a spokesperson for Atleo Air.

She said that the pilot underestimated the depth of the water in the area.

“It’s a very congested harbour and it’s sometimes a tricky spot to takeoff in,” said Lawson. “But everybody is okay and that’s the important part.”

The Transport Safety Board is going to be engaged in following up on the incident with assistance from the RCMP, said Douglas.

Melissa Renwick, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Ha-Shilth-Sa

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