VICTORIA -- Military and coast guard personnel scoured the waters off Victoria, B.C. Tuesday evening for a downed aircraft with one person on board.

The United States Coast Guard was leading the search operation after Washington state air traffic controllers received a mayday call from a Cessna 170 airplane over the Strait of Juan de Fuca before 5 p.m.

One man was reportedly on board the plane when the distress call went out. The flight was making its descent from Ketchikan, Alaska, according to U.S. Coast Guard petty officer Steve Strohmaier.

The Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre in Victoria says the small plane is believed to have gone down on the American side of the border, northeast of Port Angeles, Wash.

Two U.S. Coast Guard patrol boats and one rescue boat continued to search the water late into the evening, along with a pair of helicopters.

One helicopter, an MH-65 Dolphin from Air Station Port Angeles, was flying a search pattern off the shore near William R. Fairchild Airport in Port Angeles.

The Canadian Coast Guard vessel Sir Wilfred Laurier was tasked with assisting in the search from Victoria. A Royal Canadian Air Force CC-115 Buffalo airplane from 19 Wing Comox was also on scene.

The U.S. Coast Guard said crews planned to search the area throughout the night.