2 occupants uninjured after small plane crash near Courtenay
Published Saturday, November 28, 2020 4:42PM PST Last Updated Saturday, November 28, 2020 7:00PM PST
VANCOUVER -- Two people are safe after their small plane crashed in the ocean south of Courtenay, near Royston, B.C. Saturday afternoon.
Images from the scene show the aircraft partially submerged in water upside down.
Witnesses told CTV News Vancouver Island they watched the plane flying low near Gartley Point before it hit the water.
"I looked in the sky. I could see a light and then it would be gone, and then another light, and I thought, 'Oh, it must be a plane,' because the sun's shining on it," said Margaret Henderson, who witnessed the crash. "It started coming down and all of a sudden I saw it veer over to the left and I knew it was coming too low."
The downed aircraft's mark corresponds to a 1968, single-engine Piper PA-28-140, according to Transport Canada’s online database. The plane has been registered to William Vong, of New Westminster, since 2017.
Rick Simmonds lives near the crash site. He said he heard the plane's engine before he saw it.
"I looked up to see what was going on and what I saw was the wheels clip the ocean and the plane did a rollover, completely upside down," said Simmonds.
He and other witnesses ran to help the people who were aboard the plane. They were soaked but otherwise unharmed, he said, adding that they waited inside his home for first responders to arrive.
The Joint Rescue Coordination Centre Victoria told CTV News the crash happened around 3:30 p.m. and no injuries were reported.
The cause of the incident was unclear Saturday evening.