They had just finished New Year’s Eve lunch on the NSW Hawkesbury river and were onboard a seaplane soaring over Sydney, all a part of a “wine and dine” Sydney Seaplane experience.
The sky was blue, conditions pristine, and no one was likely prepared when the aircraft started losing altitude, fast. The magical afternoon turned to tragedy when the plane nosedived, plunging into the water below.
Reportedly, four british tourists and an 11-year-old boy were on board, as well as the Sydney Seaplane pilot, when the plane crashed at Cowan Creek at 3:15pm on Sunday.
All six people died in the crash, according to AAP, and police divers recovered the bodies from the plane sitting in 13 metres of water, The Sun reports.
“We wish to pass on our heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of the passengers and pilot who were tragically killed,” managing director of Sydney Seaplanes Aaron Shaw said in a statement, adding he was “deeply shocked” by the incident and that all the company’s operations have been suspended.
“We do not yet know the cause of the accident.”
Witness Myles Baptiste told the Nine Network he saw the plane flying towards him about 500 metres away when it hit the water.
“It made a tight right-hand turn and as it actually turned around, the wings dipped and it nosedived straight into the water,” he said.
— 7 News Melbourne (@7NewsMelbourne) December 31, 2017
Superintendent Michael Gorman told reporters the passengers had been returning to Rose Bay in Sydney from the Cottage Point Inn on the Hawkesbury, AAP reports.
Police air crash investigators are looking for cues as to what caused the crash, while the Australian Transport Safety Bureau told AAP the plane appeared to sink “rapidly” once it hit the water.
The identities of those on board have not yet been made public. It was a horrific end to what should have been a idyllic, peaceful welcome into the New Year.
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