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All 7 survive after Cessna 208 seaplane splashes down in PortMiami

Main image in graphic from WPLG Local 10 Facebook videoAll seven on board a Cessna 208 Caravan (N85WL) escaped without injury after the plane overturned in the water near PortMiami on Friday afternoon. The float-equipped Caravan took off from Palm Beach International Airport (PBI) on Friday at 1:04 p.m., according to Flight Aware. CBS News reported that a source familiar with the incident said one of the floats took on water, causing an unstable list. Witnesses told Local 10 Miami that they heard a hard landing. "(It was) more like a thump, like something hitting the water, like a big splash," Alex Jaimes told Local 10. "I did see people rushing over there. You saw the boats, the police officers, and there was a big pa, pa, everybody going over there." AP News reports that the plane came down in a channel between the cruise ship terminals and a causeway connecting Miami to Miami Beach while trying to reach the nearby Miami Seaplane Base (X44). Video captured shows the plane partially submerged with the propeller still running as a boat arrived to move the downed aircraft. All seven people on board the aircraft were rescued by Miami-Dade Harbor Patrol and were taken to a nearby triage center for evaluation. CBS News reports that the boats were nearby for routine cruise ship security and arrived when the plane's cabin was close to the water but still dry. The plane was towed out of the water and moved to the Seaplane Base. According to FAA registration, the Cessna was manufactured in 1995 and registered to Willis Lease Finance Corp. The cause of the incident is still unknown but the FAA and NTSB will investigate. Just under 20 years before, in the same channel, Miami saw a different ending. On Dec. 19, 2005 a Grumman G-73T Turbo Mallard operated by Chalk's Ocean Airways suffered an inflight failure after taking off from the Miami Seaplane Base while headed to Bimini, Bahamas, leading to the separation of the right wing from the fuselage. Witnesses told NTSB investigators that smoke or fire came from the wing, or a fireball in the sky, and that the plane subsequently crashed into the water. About one-half of the witnesses told investigators they heard an explosion with the wing separation. All 18 passengers and two crewmembers were killed in the crash. The NTSB said the probable cause was the inflight failure and separation of the right-wing during normal flight, resulting from the failure of the Chalk's Ocean Airways maintenance program to identify and properly repair fatigue cracks in the right wing and the FAA's failure to identify the programs deficiencies.
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