SAUSALITO (CBS SF) — A search for a sea plane that capsized while taxiing in Richardson Bay was called off Saturday afternoon after divers and police agencies were unable to locate the plane, according to Sausalito police.

A dive company will continue the search tomorrow with the help of a sonar-equipped vessel, said Lt. Kurtis Skoog. No signs of leaking oil or fuel have been seen in the water.

The Lake LA-4-200 float plane sank Friday shortly before 7:30 p.m. south of Horizon’s Restaurant in Sausalito.

Police believe the pilot, Richard Parasol, 75, of Mill Valley, was taxiing at a high rate of speed when the plane inadvertently became airborne after crossing over a wave, Skoog said. When it came down, water began coming in through the door, causing it to sink.

Parasol and a passenger, James Whitbread, 60, of Larkspur, were both rescued by good Samaritans aboard a nearby boat, the Elixir.

The plane is submerged beneath an estimated 20 to 40 feet of water.

Alcohol does not appear to be a factor in the crash. Because there were no injuries or structural damage to the plane and because the plane was taxiing when it crashed, federal authorities will not be investigating.

However, police will consult with the Federal Aviation Administration once the investigation is concluded to determine if Parasol violated any rules or regulations, Skoog said.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Comments (5)
  1. Bob Nance says:

    I t would be nice if someone who knew just a bit about aircraft had written this article, first of all the aircraft did not Capsize, that means turning over! by looking at the video the aircraft did in fact jump a wave and nosed into the next. the boat that rescued the two occupants of the plane were described as good Samaritans.
    thats not what I would describe the rescuers as. How about rescued by a nearby boat! the media is famous for forgoing facts to get the story to look good,

  2. proud_bay_man says:

    What’s a “Capsized Sea Plan?”

  3. jmallard says:

    What strikes me about this atricle is the POLICE are seeking charges if the pilot violated any rules. Great! Lets prosecute the hell out of him, put him in jail, some hefty fines, take away his license……hell we could send someone over to his house and beat up his wife. He’s obviously a menace.

    Its not enough he’s suffered the loss of his plane, lived through a harrowing experience, no, we need to get the punnishment stick out and beat this guy with it.

  4. Steve Cochran says:

    And how about the title! sure run it through spell check, but how about content check of facts check. It was a PLANE so what if a plan capsized…..stupid.

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