American tourist Christian Oliver Klepser, 51, and two daughters, Madita, 10, and Annik, 12, are killed along with the American pilot after their small plane nose dives into the sea off a small Caribbean island
- The four bodies were recovered by local fishermen and recreational divers who were close to the accident site
The horrific moment a small plane crashed into the sea, killing an American man, his two teenage daughters and the pilot, near a small Caribbean island, was captured on video.
The tragedy occurred around noon on Thursday in the waters off Bequia, which is part of St. Vincent.
In one video, a recording of a person can be heard saying, “The plane crashed! Call the Coast Guard!'
The victims have been named by local police as Christian Klepser, 51, his daughters, Madita, 10, and Annik, 12. The pilot was Robert Sachs. He also owned the aircraft involved. The family arrived in the area on December 26.
The group was en route to St. Lucia when the crash occurred, authorities said. Shortly after takeoff from JF Mitchell Airport in Bequia, the plan ran into unspecified problems.
American tourist Christian Klepser, 51, and two daughters, Madita, 10, and Annik, 12, are killed along with the American pilot after their small plane nose dives into the sea off a small Caribbean island
A few seconds into a social media clip circulating online, you see the plane flying towards the water at high speed
A huge splash occurs as all four on board are killed by the impact
After the crash, the plane can be seen floating in the water. Local fishermen and divers arrived on the scene to assist in the rescue effort
Local fishermen and recreational swimmers who were in the area assisted in the initial search, police said in a statement. The depth of the water is believed to be about 70 feet.
News broadcast from St. Vincent Searchlight reports that Sachs radioed the tower shortly after takeoff to tell them he was experiencing trouble and was returning. That was the last communication.
All four bodies have been recovered.
According to his LinkedIn page, Sachs operated a diving business in Bequia with his wife Cathy. He was from Springfield, New Jersey and had lived in the Caribbean for almost forty years.
The cause of the plane crash is still under investigation.