Sault Ste. Marie Fisherman Recounts Rushing to Help Pilot of Tipped Sea Plane

"We’ve got a sea plane that’s flipped over in the water across from the power plant. Injuries are unknown," a Chippewa County dispatcher said.

A pilot is safe Thursday after a scary situation.

His sea plane tipped over in a river.

A fisherman watched it all happen from just a few hundred yards away.

It happened Wednesday just after 4 p.m. in the St. Marys River in Sault Ste. Marie.

9&10’s Blayke Roznowski and photojournalist Noah Jurik talked to the fisherman who rushed over to help.

"She said there was a plane that flipped over. I said, you want to know about the plane? I’ll tell you about the plane because I was actually there," Ralph VanLuven said.

"We had a plane flip over in the water at this time. Coast Guard is in route," a dispatcher said. "There’s a private watercraft there as well now." 

Ralph has seen plenty of sea planes land in the St. Marys River.

After one landed Wednesday he didn’t think much of it, but then he looked back.

"Couldn’t believe it. When I first saw it standing straight up, I just couldn’t believe it," Ralph said. 

Ralph says he was at one of his fishing spots by the hydroplant when just a few hundred yards this way he saw the plane flip over in the St. Marys River. 

"The second thought was hurry up and get over there," Ralph said. 

Ralph pulled in all of his fishing gear and rushed over to see if he could help as the man crawled on top.

"He was sitting on the pontoon and it’s like he was kind of like, one of those days. I mean he wasn’t happy, but it’s just, what do you do?" Ralph said.

"We’ve got word here from the MCM Marine staff there’s no complaints from the patient," a first responder said. 

The man wasn’t hurt and even managed to stay dry.

"As the plane was going over he must have been crawling out because I don’t even think his shoes were wet and the whole plane was underneath," Ralph said.

As soon as the U.S. Coast Guard came up, it was business as normal.

"I just backed out of there and went fishing again," Ralph said. 

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police are looking into what caused the plane to flip.