‘A bumpy ride’: Seaplane crashes into Sydney Harbour after hitting a rogue wave before capsizing near Shark Island

A seaplane has crashed and capsized in Sydney Harbour following a failed take-off which forced passengers to desperately evacuate. 

The aircraft was travelling between Rose Bay and Shark Island on Thursday just before 12pm when its left float dislodged and became disconnected.

The plane began to tip to the left and the pilot aborted the take-off.

Sydney Seaplanes and Alt Air Chief Executive Aaron Shaw told the Sydney Morning Herald the plane may have hit a “big wave”.

“It would have been a bumpy ride for passengers,” Mr Shaw said.

Warren Livingstone, who was with fellow staff of the Charing Cross Hotel, was on a nearby boat when he saw the plane encounter “a bit of trouble”.

“About two seconds later it ditched into the water,” he said.

“If you were on that plane you’d be pretty scared.”

Nine people, including the pilot, put on lifejackets and climbed out of the plane and waited on the remaining float for help to arrive.

Shortly after, a rescue boat arrived and brought the passengers to safety.

Remarkably, no one was injured, and the plane was winched to the rocks of Shark Island.

Police set up a perimeter for ferries to avoid the area and to divert around the other side of Shark Island.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau are investigating the incident.

The passengers have been offered a complimentary flight.

Mr Shaw said incidents like this one occurred “from time to time” around Australia, but since it happened in Sydney Harbour it has garnered more attention.

He added the passengers have now had their lunch and were reportedly in good spirits.

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