(UPDATED TUESDAY MORNING with plane visible at low tide; TUESDAY AFTERNOON salvage coverage here)
12:46 PM: Emergency responders are headed to what is reported, by radio communication, as a small plane going into the water off the 6000 block of Beach Drive SW (map). Two people are reported to be safely ashore. Rescuers are now trying to find out if anyone else was on board.
1 PM: We’ve just arrived in the area. Avoid the south end of Beach Drive, as there are no outlets here (between Jacobsen and Lincoln Park Way). SFD reports no injuries, so its land units are leaving, but there are numerous police vehicles, and some sidewalk lookie-loos. And yes, that’s why there are helicopter(s) – TV.
1:11 PM: Another reader photo added. From the street, the two people who made it out of the plane can be seen in the backyard of a waterfront house, drying themselves off. We’ve confirmed again at the scene that no one was hurt. Here’s our view of the submerged plane, from the street:
As PeterT noted in comments, police are directing traffic on Beach Drive past the scene, one lane at a time. But it’s still a good idea to avoid the area. Among other things, it’s trash day, and Waste Management trucks are trying to get through too. Meantime, Seattle Fire acting public information officer Lt. Sue Stangl has arrived so we should get more information soon.
1:32 PM: U.S. Coast Guard is also offshore with a 45-foot vessel. Meantime, commenter Bob says the pilot’s actions may have saved other lives besides his and his passenger’s.
1:46 PM: Lt. Stangl says the National Transportation Safety Board has investigator(s) on the way. The two men who were on board the plane will be waiting to talk with them. No other details of how it happened, what went wrong, or how the plane will be pulled out of the water – yet.
2:07 PM: Per discussion in comments – and also the most recent SFD tweet – we’re referring to this from this point as an emergency landing.
2:24 PM: Things are starting to wind down here – air and most ground media have left. Police told us earlier, by the way, the nearest residents were apparently home to see this, so they’d been trying to reach them to explain what happened.
4:11 PM: Just went by. The only signs on Beach Drive of what happened earlier are TV trucks – one by the scene, one some distance north at Emma Schmitz Memorial Overlook. A boat is out near the wreckage but we couldn’t tell whose.
EVENING NOTE: We went by again before sunset – no change, no authorities in view, but we will be following up tomorrow, including checking the area on the morning low tide. As commenters have discussed, recordings from Boeing Field tower radio tell the story of how the Cessna’s engine went out and the pilot had to make an emergency landing. We still haven’t heard anything about the two men on board; the plane is registered to a Las Vegas address, according to online records.
ADDED TUESDAY MORNING, 7:42 AM: Thanks to the person who texted this photo of the plane, fully visible at low tide about half an hour ago:
No sign of anyone working on salvage so far.
TUESDAY AFTERNOON: Salvage work is now under way – we have a followup here.