Coast Guard responds to downed aircraft

USCG file photo

DESTIN, Fla.— The U. S. Coast Guard responded the report of an aircraft that crashed, Tuesday, approximately 200 yards from the Northwest Florida Regional Airport.

Watchstanders with Coast Guard Sector Mobile received a call from the Northwest Florida Regional Airport at 8 p.m. Tuesday, reporting that they lost communications with a piper aircraft with 3 people aboard. The aircraft reportedly crashed approximately 200 yards from the airport near Joe’s Bayou in Choctawhatchee Bay.

Responding assets were:

  • Coast Guard Station Destin 25-foot Response Boat-Small and crew;
  • Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans MH-65C Dolphin rescue helicopter and crew;
  • Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Department;
  • Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

“The Coast Guard’s priority was to get to the scene to assist as safely and quickly as possible,” said Petty Officer John Scott, a maritime enforcement specialist with Coast Guard Station Destin.

The three bodies were recovered by Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Department and transported to awaiting emergency medical services.

The plane has been located and the Coast Guard continues to gather debris from the affected waterway.

The National Transportation Safety Board has been notified and the incident remains under investigation.

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