Sydney seaplane crash victims were on family holiday

A mother and her 11-year-old daughter, who were among six people killed in a tragic New Year's Eve plane crash in Sydney, have both been identified.

Emma Bowden, 48, and her young daughter Heather were among five Britons killed when their plane crashed into the Hawkesbury River, north of Sydney, about 3.15pm on Sunday. 

Ms Bowden's fiance Richard Cousins, 58, a millionaire CEO of catering company Compass, was also on-board the plane with his two sons Edward and William Cousins, aged 23 and 25.

Pilot Gareth Morgan, 44, who had many years experience flying for the Sydney Seaplanes company, was also killed. 

Mr Cousins, who has been chief executive of British catering giant Compass for 11 years, was due to retire in March after transforming the business from on its knees to turning a £1.6billion a year profit.

It is believed he was in Australia on a family holiday to celebrate the New Year with his family when they died.

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Emma Bowden, 48, and her daughter Heather, 11, died in a horror seaplane crash in the Hawkesbury River, north of Sydney, on New Year's Eve

Emma Bowden, 48, and her daughter Heather, 11, died in a horror seaplane crash in the Hawkesbury River, north of Sydney, on New Year's Eve

Richard Cousins, 58 (pictured) is among the five Britons to be killed in the New Year's Eve seaplane crash north of Sydney

Ms Bowden (left) was on-board the plane with fiance Richard Cousins (right), a millionaire CEO in charge of British catering company Compass

It's believed Ms Bowden and her daughter (pictured) were travelling with Mr Cousins and his sons on a festive family holiday

It's believed Ms Bowden and her daughter (pictured) were travelling with Mr Cousins and his sons on a festive family holiday

One of the six to be named as dead is experienced 44-year-old Australian pilot Gareth Morgan (pictured left and right)

The body of a passenger recovered from the downed seaplane that crashed on Sunday killing six people is carried by police and paramedics

The body of a passenger recovered from the downed seaplane that crashed on Sunday killing six people is carried by police and paramedics

Mr Morgan (pictured), who was one of the six to be killed on Sunday, has been described a 'very experienced pilot' 

Mr Morgan (pictured), who was one of the six to be killed on Sunday, has been described a 'very experienced pilot' 

When he announced in September that he would be retiring in March, the company's share price plummeted.

Mr Cousins was named at No 11 on last year's 100 Best Performing CEOs in the World by Harvard Business Review. 

The 58-year-old had also served on the board of supermarket giant Tesco, but resigned last year in protest at plans to buy wholesaler Booker, The Daily Telegraph reported. 

Paul Walsh, Compass chairman, said: 'We are deeply shocked and saddened by this terrible news.

'The thoughts of everyone at Compass are with Richard's family and friends, and we extend our deepest sympathies to them.

'It has been a great privilege to know Richard personally and to work with him for the last few years.

'Richard was known and respected for his great humanity and a no-nonsense style that transformed Compass into one of Britain's leading companies.' 

Six people were killed after the tourist plane crashed into a river near Sydney on Sunday afternoon. Pictured is a plane believed to be the doomed aircraft spotted moments before it crashed

The six people including five Britons killed in a seaplane crash north of Sydney have been named; pictured is one of the bodies being removed by police and paramedics

The six people including five Britons killed in a seaplane crash north of Sydney have been named; pictured is one of the bodies being removed by police and paramedics

New South Wales Police and investigators from the Australian Transport Safety Bureau pictured on a police launch at the site where a seaplane crashed on New Year's Eve

New South Wales Police and investigators from the Australian Transport Safety Bureau pictured on a police launch at the site where a seaplane crashed on New Year's Eve

A New South Wales policewoman is seen holding a piece of debris from the seaplane which crashed in the Hawkesbury River

A New South Wales policewoman is seen holding a piece of debris from the seaplane which crashed in the Hawkesbury River

Five Britons, including an 11-year-old girl, were on board the Sydney Seaplanes Cessna aircraft when it came down. Pictured are police officers gathering evidence at the scene

Five Britons, including an 11-year-old girl, were on board the Sydney Seaplanes Cessna aircraft when it came down. Pictured are police officers gathering evidence at the scene

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull offered his condolences to the families of those killed in the crash.

'It is a tragic accident and... our hearts go out to the families of those whose lives were lost,' Mr Turnbull said in Bondi on Monday.

'We don't know yet what caused it, but it's just a tragedy. We grieve for those who lost their lives.'

Police are now working on the logistics of refloating the wreckage.

The plane will need to be brought back to the surface before forensic air-crash investigators can piece together what went wrong.   

One theory is that the seaplane's pilot was trying to make an emergency landing.

Witnesses enjoying New Year's Eve in boats on the river said they saw the aircraft make a sharp turn before nosediving into the water. One witness said it appeared a wing hit the water first.

Video taken from a nearby boat

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