Multiple passengers injured after seaplane collides with boat in Coal Harbour; severity of injuries unclear

Multiple people were injured after a Harbour Air seaplane collided with a boat in Coal Harbour Saturday afternoon; however, the extent of the injuries and the number of people injured is unclear.

Just before 1 p.m., the plane collided with a pleasure boat, police and Harbour Air say.

The VPD says there were “a number of people” on board both the plane and the boat. Harbour Air says the plane had six people on board, including the pilot. No word on how many people were on the boat.

“All five passengers on the aircraft and the pilot are uninjured and safe,” Harbour Air said.

CityNews has received conflicting reports from official sources regarding the number and severity of the injuries among the boat passengers.

“We have been advised by the local authorities that all passengers on the boat have also been accounted for,” Harbour Air said.

Police say “several” passengers have been treated for injuries and taken to hospital, and these all appear to have been passengers on the boat.

Meanwhile, BC Emergency Health Services says two people on the boat had “minor injuries,” while Vancouver Fire Rescue’s assistant chief Walter Pereira says there were “serious injuries.”

Pereira also says the situation could have also been much worse, considering the magnitude of what happened.

“I mean, the plane ended up sinking, and the boat’s heavily damaged,” he said.

“So the fact that nobody died was really a miracle, in my opinion.”

Video posted to social media appears to show the collision.

CityNews has spoken to Harbour Air passengers waiting at the scene.

“Everybody on the plane seemed unharmed, just shaken, and the folks that were on the boat were brought through on stretchers,” one passenger said. “It seemed like the response was really good, like they were on it really quickly, and they were dinghies there, rushing out to the water. And obviously they have a plan when this sort of thing happens in place, so I’m imagining that the Port Authority is going to investigate it.”

“I think a plane had crashed in the bay and may have hit another boat, five people on it, and all have escaped with minor injuries,” another passenger said.

Harbour Air has since cancelled all flights for the rest of the day.

“Safety remains our utmost priority,” Harbour Air said. “At this time, we are working closely with the authorities to gather more information about this incident and supporting the affected parties.”

Photos posted to social media show a plane in the water with Vancouver Police boats surrounding it.

CityNews has heard from multiple callers that the incident is disrupting marine traffic in the area.

“Vancouver Police are working with other agencies, including BC Emergency Health Services, Vancouver Fire Rescue Services, West Coast Marine, and Vancouver Port Authority,” the VPD said.

Stay with us here on CityNews for the very latest on this developing story.

With files from Cole Schisler and Raynaldo Suarez.

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