Authorities work to recover downed Hawkesbury River seaplane

Related Story: Six people killed after seaplane crashes into Hawkesbury River

Transport safety investigators will this morning begin work to recover the wreckage of a seaplane that crashed into the Hawksbury River in New South Wales yesterday.

Key points:

  • Six people died in the crash, but police have not yet released their names
  • The plane lies in 13 metres of water, and authorities will try to recover the wreckage this morning
  • It could take up to 12 months for the investigation into the incident to be completed

All five passengers and the pilot of the light aircraft died when it crashed into the waters of Jerusalem Bay near Cowan, north of Sydney, at about 3:15pm.

Police said they were investigating whether the sea plane was attempting to make an emergency landing before the crash.

British media is reporting that at least four of the victims are UK nationals, although this has not been confirmed.

Inspector Michael Gorman said police have not yet released the names of the deceased.

"I do not have details or cannot confirm the identity or ages of the people who were on the plane," Inspector Gorman said.

A de Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver seaplane operated by Sydney Seaplanes.

The bodies were recovered by police divers, but the plane remained in 13 metres of water overnight.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau said it aimed to release a preliminary report in about 30 days time, but it could take up to 12 months to complete the investigation.

Police said there were a number of boats in the area at the time, and are urging anyone with mobile phone or other footage of the incident to share it with the authorities.

External Link: Australian Transport Safety Bureau post on ditching of seaplane into Hawkesbury River

The seaplane was returning from the Cottage Point Inn Restaurant to Rose Bay in Sydney's east — ordinarily a 20 minute journey — when it crashed into the water.

Numerous rescue vessels, including NSW Police divers and NSW Ambulance helicopters, attended the scene.

The crashed aircraft, a DHC-2 Beaver registration VH-NOO, was operated by Sydney Seaplanes.

A marine command centre has been established at Apple Tree Bay boat ramp near Bobbin Head in the Ku-Ring-Gai National Park, near Cowan.

Search for survivors after seaplane crashes into Hawkesbury River

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