ON Saturday, June 6, just after 1 p.m., Ridge Meadows RCMP received a report from a witness stating that they saw a smaller white airplane flying low above the Fraser River, going into the water and then quickly disappearing from view.
Ridge Meadows frontline RCMP members attended the area of 287th Street and Lougheed Highway and began looking for any parts of the airplane or debris, but could not locate anything. An airport tower in the area indicated that there were no reports of any airplanes known to be in the area at that time, and no reports of planes in distress. Several other local airports were contacted, none were expecting any planes and none were reported overdue.
The Vancouver Police Department’s Marine Unit assisted by sending a vessel equipped with sonar searching capabilities and RCMP air services utilized their helicopter and began patrolling the area. Multiple frontline members and agencies, including Abbotsford Police Department and Maple Ridge Fire Search and Rescue, assisted in the search. The Joint Rescue Coordination Center was contacted and organized search and rescue teams and boats looking for the possible downed plane.
Late Saturday afternoon, a report was received from the Boundary Bay Airport that a small plane containing two persons on board was overdue. This plane was similar in size and colour to the observation made by the one and only witness. The initial flight plan submitted by the pilot did not take the plane in the vicinity of where it was apparently seen in the water.
The Transportation Safety Board was advised once the plane was overdue and of searches being conducted by the various agencies, and the ongoing negative results of the searches.
All agencies continued searching Saturday until approximately 7 p.m. with the expectation to resume early Sunday, unless further information was reported.
RCMP have contacted the family of those on board the plane and advised them of the situation and the ongoing searches.
Currently the Vancouver Police Marine Unit, RCMP Underwater Recovery team, RCMP Air 5 helicopter and multiple search and rescue teams continue to search the surrounding area and Fraser River for the airplane. There have been no confirmed sightings, or recovery of any parts of the plane, and no contact with those on board.