Six people, including an infant, are dead, but two other people survived when a float plane crashed off Canada's Pacific coast.

The plane went down yesterday during takeoff in British Columbia's Gulf Islands, about 50 miles south of Vancouver.

The pilot and a female passenger were rescued within minutes of the crash and both are expected to survive.

A coast guard spokesman says after a 7-hour search, divers recovered the bodies of six people who were trapped in the plane when it sank, moments after going down.

One man who heard the crash says he rushed to his skiff to look for survivors. He found a woman and the pilot close together in the water, but couldn't pull the two of them into his boat on his own. He tied them to the side of his vessel for a few minutes until other boats came to help.