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Seaplane crashes into Sydney Harbour, passengers rescued


Passengers have been evacuated from a seaplane near Shark Island in Sydney Harbour after one of its floats was damaged during take-off.

The Alt Air plane was taking off between Shark Island and Rose Bay just before midday on Thursday when its left float became disconnected, causing it to veer left and begin to sink.

A rescue boat came to the aid of the passengers shortly after the incident.

A rescue boat came to the aid of the passengers shortly after the incident.Credit: Charing Cross Hotel

Aaron Shaw, chief executive of Sydney Seaplanes and Alt Air, told The Sydney Morning Herald it was possible the plane hit a strong wake or wave.

“[The pilot has] hit something, and whatever he’s hit, a big wake or wave, has hulled the float, and put a lot of pressure on one of the struts that attaches the float to the fuselage.

“The pilot then aborted the take-off.

The plane was winched onto the Shark Island rocks after passengers were evacuated.

The plane was winched onto the Shark Island rocks after passengers were evacuated.Credit: Rhett Wyman

“So it would have been a bumpy ride for passengers.”

Warren Livingstone, owner of Charing Cross Hotel, was with staff on a party boat near Rose Bay when he noticed the plane come down.

“We were on a boat taking off from Rose Bay … and looked over to our left, and saw this plane in a bit of trouble,” Livingstone told the Herald.



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