Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Accident occurred July 12, 2017 near Lake St. John Regional Airport, Orillia, Ontario, Canada

A Ramara firefighter is among two men taken to hospital with serious injuries after a plane crash in Lake St. John.

The plane crashed Wednesday at around 3:30 p.m., near the Orillia Lake St. John Airport. According to the initial investigation by the OPP, the small float-type plane was attempting to land at the airport when for some unknown reason it flipped over.

Fire officials say the pair was thrown from the plane and were rescued from the water. They were wearing life-jackets at the time.

The two men suffered what Rama paramedics are calling serious injuries. The pair was transferred to Orillia’s Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital for treatment.

Ornge Air Ambulance was contacted, but stormy weather prevented them from responding.

The men were rescued by Dylan McKee. He jumped in his boat when he saw the plane going down and rushed to the crash site.

“When I got on scene there, the two occupants of the plane were sitting on the wings of it upside down and just holding on to it. Very frantic. Things happened so fast didn’t know what was going on,” he said.

Emergency crews attempted to pull the plane out of the water, but it started to take on water and sunk. Divers will need to be brought in to remove it.

The Transportation Safety Board has been notified and the investigation into the crash is ongoing.

On July 12 at approximately 3:30 p.m., officers from the Orillia Detachment of the OPP, Rama Police Service, Rama Fire Rescue Service and the Ramara Fire and Rescue Service, along with the County of Simcoe Paramedic Services responded to a report of a downed aircraft on Lake St. John.

From the initial investigation that followed, police have determined that the aircraft was attempting to land on the water near the Lake St. John Regional Airport when from reasons unknown at this time, it flipped over. 

Nearby homeowners who witnessed the crash immediately responded in their own boats and rescued two males who were on board the aircraft and took them to shore where emergency services personnel had gathered. 

The males have since been transported to a local hospital and are being treated for injuries which are described as serious, but non-life threatening.

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada has been notified and will also be assisting with the ongoing investigation, however the plane has since sunk and arrangements are now underway to have the plane raised to the surface.

Further details including the exact make and model of plane that was involved will be provided as the investigation continues and once the water recovery is made.

Emergency Services personnel who attended this incident wish to recognize the quick thinking and speedy response of nearby property owners and cottagers who rushed to the scene and no doubt prevented this from potentially ending in a tragedy.

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