Five killed as Alaska sightseeing plane crashes
Small plane crashes on sightseeing tour in mountainous area of Alaska
Four cruise ship passengers and plane's pilot killed
Cruise line cancels future tours with company that operated plane
(CNN) -- Rescue authorities reported all five people aboard a small sightseeing plane were killed when it crashed in a mountainous area of southeast Alaska on Tuesday, a Princess Cruises spokeswoman said.
The five included the plane's pilot and four Sun Princess cruise ship passengers, who were on the second day of a weeklong, round-trip cruise from Seattle, Washington, spokeswoman Julie Benson said in a statement.
The pilot sent out a distress signal late Tuesday afternoon while on a planned tour of Misty Fjords National Monument, south of Juneau near Ketchikan, Alaska, according to Benson.
When the single-engine DeHavilland Beaver did not return, "rescue helicopters were dispatched to the location of the flight seeing route," Benson said. "These helicopters subsequently spotted the float plane which ... crashed in rugged terrain."
No additional information was immediately released, but Benson said the company was working closely with local authorities to investigate the circumstances of the crash.
Meanwhile, Princess Cruises has permanently canceled all excursions with the tour company Taquan Air, operator of the plane, Benson said.
"We are devastated to report that our passengers and the plane's pilot perished in the accident," Benson said. "Our shoreside care team is doing everything possible to help their families through this difficult tragedy, and we share in their grief."
The passengers were among 1,950 people aboard the Sun Princess.
Alaska State Trooper Jodi Williams identified the victims as pilot Joseph H. Campbell of Ketchikan and cruise ship passengers William F. Eddy and Jeanne J. Eddy of Jacksonville, Florida, and Marianne M. McManus and Paul J. McManus of Cherry Valley, Massachusetts.
Sad event. It reminds us though that no matter who we do a day trip with, things can happen.
Exactly. My heart goes out to the families of all involved in this tragedy because it's they who will have to move on.
As someone who has often done "reckless, extreme, stupid things" (quote from my father) ... I realize that any day could be my last. I guess I've always tried to stay right with the Lord and then take my chances. If He wants to call me, I'm going ... no two ways about it. Doesn't matter whether I'm freefalling high above the earth with my parachute on my back, or 100 feet below the sea with a SCUBA tank ... or even just walking around an island jewelry store. Life is fleeting. So, it's best to live it to the fullest ... as these people were.