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Coast Guard rescues 11-year-old girl — the sole survivor of a plane crash that killed four people on Michigan's Beaver Island

Four people died in a plane crash on Michigan's Beaver Island, including a real estate agent and a couple who were planning to open a winery and vineyard there, authorities said Sunday. The lone survivor was an 11-year-old girl. 

The plane crashed Saturday west of Mackinaw City, killing four of the five people on board. Lt. William Church of the Charlevoix County Sheriff's Office identified three of the deceased as Kate Leese and Adam Kendall of Beaver Island, and Mike Perdue of Gaylord. Perdue was a real estate agent, Church told WZZM-TV.

Authorities have not released the name of the pilot who was also killed. Perdue's 11-year-old daughter was seriously injured in the crash and remained hospitalized Sunday.

The Coast Guard said an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew was able to hoist and transport the girl and another male victim to a hospital in Petoskey, Michigan. "Chest compressions were being conducted on the 11-year-old in route to the hospital," the Coast Guard tweeted.

The girl's mother said her father "protected her" before the crash. 

"We are heartbroken with the loss of my husband, a father, brother, son and friend. He gave the best bear hugs, and I believe he grabbed our daughter and protected her. It's her last memory before the crash," Christina Perdue said in a statement obtained by ABC7.

Leese and Kendall had moved to Beaver Island after spending years traveling. They had been planning to open Antho Vineyards, a winery and tasting room, on the island in Lake Michigan.

"It feels like a place somewhere along the road where you could stop and have a glass of wine with new friends," Leese, a biochemist, told The Detroit News for a story published a week before the crash.  "Our goal is to have that kind of place that brings people together."

The twin-engine Britten-Norman plane was flying from Charlevoix on Michigan's lower peninsula, the Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement.

The FAA said it would take part in an investigation led by the National Transportation Safety Board.

2 Michigan islands are close but so different
Ducks on the water at Beaver Island in Lake Michigan, in this undated file photo. Tribune News Service via Getty Images
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