Sydney Plane Crash: Families of Engaged British Couple Die in New Year’s Eve

Jack Phillips
By Jack Phillips
January 1, 2018World News
Sydney Plane Crash: Families of Engaged British Couple Die in New Year’s Eve
A seaplane crashed into the Sydney River on Sunday, Dec. 31, 2017, killing six people on a “wine and dine” sightseeing flight ahead of the city’s New Year’s Eve celebrations at the harbor. (Reuters video screenshot)

The families of an engaged British couple were confirmed as victims of a New Year’s plane crash in Australia.

Five people and a pilot were on the seaplane when it crashed into the Hawkesbury River north of Sydney on Sunday. No one survived, New South Wales police confirmed.

In all, five Britons and one pilot were killed in the accident, according to The Independent.

Richard Cousins, 58, fiancé to  Emma Bowden, 48, died along with Bowden’s 11-year-old daughter Emma and Cousins’s two sons William Cousins, 25, and Edward Cousins, 23. Gareth Morgan, 44, was identified as the pilot, and he worked for Sydney Seaplanes.

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Richard Cousins, chief executive of the catering company Compass Group, perished. (Compass Group website)

The cause of the crash has not yet been determined, and an investigation is currently pending.

Sydney Seaplanes said it was “deeply shocked” by the “tragic accident” in a statement, The Independent reported.

A U.K. Foreign Office spokeswoman told publication: “Officials from the British consulate are in contact with local authorities in relation to a seaplane accident near Sydney. We stand ready to provide consular assistance.”

Cousins, who was the head of Compass for the past 11 years, was slated to retire in March before the crash took place.

“Richard was known and respected for his great humanity and a no-nonsense style that transformed Compass into one of Britain’s leading companies,” company chairman Paul Walsh said in a statement, reported the New York Daily News.

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Gareth Morgan was an experienced pilot. (Facebook)

The Sydney Seaplanes aircraft is still submerged in the water. It won’t be taken out for several days, according to reports.

Police said the seaplane was returning the party of five people from a waterside restaurant in Sydney’s north to the Sydney Seaplanes headquarters in Rose Bay in the city’s east when it crashed into the water, immediately sinking, Reuters reported.

“We have spoken to a number of witnesses,” acting Superintendent Michael Gorman told reporters, adding that forensic police would inspect the plane to assess when it could be raised from the riverbed. “It’s too early in the investigation so we don’t know why the plane crashed.”

The deaths of the six people come as a plane crashed in Costa Rica on New Year’s Eve, killing an American family of five and seven others. Five of the victims were identified as the Steinberg family of Scarsdale, New York. Father and mother Bruce and Irene Steinberg died along with their children Matthew, William, and Zachary.


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(Costa Rica’s Ministry of Public Security)

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