Police have confirmed that the six people killed in yesterday’s tragic seaplane crash in the Hawkesbury River, north of Sydney, included a family of five from the UK.
The family, who were on holidays in Australia, has been identified as Emma Bowden, 48, and her fiancé Richard Cousins, 58, as well as Richard’s sons Edward Cousins, 23, William Cousins, 25, and Emma’s daughter Heather Bowden, who was just 11 years old.
44-year-old Sydney Seaplanes pilot Gareth Morgan was also killed in the horrific crash.
Mark Hutchings, Commander Marine Area Command NSW Police, said that local authorities have informed police in the victims’ home country. “We have in the course of this investigation already been in contact with the UK,” he told ABC News.
“This is people who have come over on holidays to visit Australia,” he added. “They were in one of the most beautiful parts of the world and for this to happen to them at a place like this is nothing more than just tragic.”
ABC News reports that the six bodies were recovered yesterday, but the wreckage of the plane is still submerged under “13 metres of water”.
Sydney Seaplanes, which operates over 27,000 flights a year, are cooperating with police. The company has released a statement defending their “unblemished” safety record.
“Our aircraft are professionally maintained and our seaplane pilots are some of the most experienced in the world,” ABC News quoted the the statement as saying.
Police are appealing to witnesses who saw the crash take place at about 3.10pm Sunday afternoon.