By Yereth Rosen
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (Reuters) – Searchers found the bodies of the last two Alaska seaplane crash victims on Tuesday evening, after a hunt through the debris and frigid waters following a mid-air collision that killed six people and injured 10, officials said.
The two missing, an Australian and a Canadian, had been among 14 passengers from a Princess Cruises ship who boarded two seaplanes operated by separate tour companies in the town of Ketchikan on Monday, the cruise line said.
„This is not the outcome we hoped for,” said U.S. Coast Guard Capt. Stephen White, offering the searchers’ condolences to the families of the dead.
The dead, three men and three women, ranged in age from 37 to 62, officials said. All the dead were identified late on Tuesday, and 14 of those on board the planes were American.
The discovery of the bodies closes the search at the scene where the two seaplanes crashed after colliding over the inlet waters near Ketchikan, in southeastern Alaska, said Matthew Schofield, a U.S. Coast Guard officer.
Work at the crash site will now shift to an investigation into what led the two planes, which were ferrying Princess Cruises passengers on sightseeing expeditions, to strike each other and fall into the waters of George Inlet.
The round-the-clock search lasted 27 hours and covered 93 nautical miles, officials said.
A team of 14 National Transportation Safety Board investigators has been sent to the site and divers will start working on Wednesday to pull up the wreckage of the two planes.
The NTSB team began investigating on Tuesday and is unlikely to determine the cause during the week it will spend at the scene, NTSB board member Jennifer Homendy told a news conference.
Ten people survived but were injured in the collision, which took place over open water during daylight, the Coast Guard said. The dead included one of the pilots.
Three of the injured were in serious condition and seven in fair condition, Dr Peter Rice, medical director of the PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center, told a separate news conference.
The water temperature off Ketchikan on Tuesday was 48 Fahrenheit (8.9 C), the National Weather Service said. The expected survival time in temperatures of 40F to 50F (4C to 10C) ranges from one to three hours, the United States Search and Rescue Task Force says on its website.
The investigators will collect information from the survivors, the Federal Aviation Administration, other witnesses who might have been in the area, flight logs, training records and other sources, including the wrecked planes, Homendy said.
„We still have to recover the planes and then we have to look at those,” she said. „It takes some significant work to really understand how the two came together.”
All the planes’ passengers arrived in Ketchikan on the cruise ship Royal Princess during a seven-day trip between Vancouver, British Columbia, and Anchorage, Alaska, Princess Cruises said.
Ten passengers and a pilot were aboard one float plane, a de Havilland Otter DHC-3, operated by Taquan Air. Four passengers and a pilot were aboard the second float plane, a de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver, run by Mountain Air Service of Ketchikan.
The crash site at Coon Cove about 300 miles (480 km) south of Juneau, Alaska’s capital, is near a tourist lodge that runs excursions to the nearby Misty Fjords National Monument.
Ketchikan-based Taquan Air said the plane was returning from a sightseeing tour of Misty Fjords at the time of the crash.
(Reporting by Yereth Rosen in Anchorage; Additional reporting by Rich McKay in Atlanta and Barbara Goldberg in New York; Editing by Leslie Adler and Clarence Fernandez)
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, issued a dire warning about space pirates Wednesday in support of appropriations to fund Space Force, President Trump’s proposed off-planet expansion of the U.S. military.
“Since the ancient Greeks first put to sea, nations have recognized the necessity of naval forces and maintaining a superior capability to protect waterborne travel and commerce from bad actors,” said Cruz, the chairman of the subcommittee on aviation and space, adding, “Pirates threaten the open seas, and the same is possible in space. In this same way, I believe we too must now recognize the necessity of a Space Force to defend the nation and to protect space commerce and civil space exploration.”
For starters, the Trump administration is seeking $2 billion in new funding from Congress for the creation of Space Force. The new military branch is projected to number about 15,000, most of whom will be transferred from existing positions. In future years its annual budget could amount to an additional $500 million over the $10 billion already being spent on unclassified space programs, Defense News reported.
Although armed Somali pirates terrorized the waters off the horn of Africa a decade ago, their activity has diminished in recent years thanks to a robust military response from several nations, including the United States. Venezuela’s descent into political chaos is partly blamed for a rise in Caribbean piracy. Yet none of those threats possess the resources to — as yet — mount a credible threat beyond the confines of Earth’s atmosphere.Nor is there any interplanetary commerce to present a lucrative target for pirates.President Trump holds up the space policy directive that he signed during a National Space Council meeting in the East Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh In February, Trump signed a directive ordering the Pentagon to establish Space Force as the sixth branch of the U.S. military. Months earlier, a super-PAC supporting the president asked supporters to vote on a new logo for the extraterrestrial troopers.When Democrats retook control of the U.S. House of Representatives, however, the prospects for Space Force grew uncertain. In March, Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., who chairs the House Armed Services Committee, tried to temper Space Force expectations.“It’s going to be different from what the White House proposed. Three more four-star generals are not going to make us stronger in space,” Smith said.Even some of Trump’s Republican defenders have questioned the premise that America needs to create a new military branch and hand over jurisdiction of space and its pirates from the Air Force.“It wasn’t on my list because I don’t think we need it,” Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman James Inhofe, R-Okla., said. “Ever since this subject came up, I’ve said there are two things you have to answer. One is, is it going to do a better job than we’re doing today? And then two, it’s going to cost more — how much more money is it going to cost?”Sen. Ted Cruz and space pirates. (Photo illustration: Yahoo News, photos: AP, Getty Images )
Science The Moon Is Shrinking, and It’s Causing Powerful ‘Moonquakes’Amy Gunia•Scientists found evidence of seismic activity as the moon cools and shrinksThe moon is getting smaller, which causes wrinkles in its surface and moonquakes, according to a new study.As the moon’s interior cools, it shrinks, which causes its hard surface to crack and form fault lines, according to research sponsored by NASA. The moon has gotten about 150 feet skinnier over the last few hundred million years.NASA posted a video on Twitter showing fault lines on the moon’s surface.Astronauts have placed seismometers on the moon over a series of past missions. Scientists, who determined that the moonquakes are close enough to the fault lines to establish causality, published their analysis in a study in Nature Geoscience on Monday, according to NASA. The space agency has also recorded evidence of fault lines in a series of images.Read More: Jeff Bezos Is Promising the Moon — But There Are Plenty of Reasons to Doubt Him“Our analysis gives the first evidence that these faults are still active and likely producing moonquakes today as the Moon continues to gradually cool and shrink,” said Thomas Watters, lead author of the study and senior scientist in the Center for Earth and Planetary Studies at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, according to a press release on NASA’s website.Watters says that the quakes can be strong, around a five on the Richter scale, according to the NASA statement.
Just because Game of Thrones is coming to an end doesn’t mean you can’t get your Westeros fix after this Sunday. This Irish Castle Airbnb will give you those heir-to-the-Iron-throne vibes. Minus the gore and twincest.
As with most castles that have been around for hundreds of years, Cahercastle in Galway, has its charm, but if you’re looking for modern perfection, the hosts suggests you look elsewhere. Despite a few cobwebs and a little dust, more than 1,061 guests have rated this 600-year-old castle with 5 stars.
For approximately $180 a night, you and up to four guests can stay in the castle’s master bedroom, which is the highest room in the castle. This space features two beds, and during your stay you’ll have private access to the top two floors, which include the bedroom, living room, kitchen, and bathroom.
Because the castle is made entirely of stone, a huge fireplace keeps the place warm, in addition to the host’s „pet dragon that lives in the dungeon”-though (spoiler alert!) they hopefully won’t burn King’s Landing to a crisp.
In addition to a spectacular view and A+ reviews, this Galway castle Airbnb boasts plenty of quirks, including several winding staircases, sheep and cows in the field nearby, and (of course) a turret.
One reviewer, Kasi, even shared about how her trip was so much more than a vacation, but a lifelong family memory:
„What can I say? It was an experience my family won’t soon forget. If you are looking for a true medieval castle experience, this is it! No, it’s not a 5-star luxury hotel, but it’s so much more than that. Peter and Eva opened not only their castle, but their hearts and home to us. From showing our kids how to shoot a bow, to his boys entertaining our whole family with their music and shenanigans, to all the beautiful stories Peter & Eva shared about the castle and their life experiences, this trip will surely be one our family won’t forgot. We would definitely come back for another visit!”
Now, how can I not book a trip?
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