COAST GUARD SEARCHING FOR MISSING AIRCRAFT OFF FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA.

MIAMI – Coast Guard crews have located a debris field that may be associated with an earlier report from Federal Aviation Administration officials of a possible missing aircraft.

Search and rescue coordinators received a call at 9:20 a.m. today, reporting they had lost radar contact of a Piper Aztec that was en route to Andros Island, Bahamas from Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport. FAA officials reported six people were on board the aircraft.

A HH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Air Station Miami spotted the debris field about 17 miles east of Fort Lauderdale. Crews from Coast Guard Station Fort Lauderdale and the Cutter Chandeleaur are currently en route to help with any search and rescue efforts.

“Coast Guard crews will continue search efforts to help determine if the debris field is associated with the missing aircraft,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Jennifer Johnson. “We ask that the public avoid the area and allow search and rescue crews to mitigate the situation as best possible.”

The Cutter Chandeleaur is a 110-foot patrol boat homeported in Miami.

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