Coast Guard searching for missing airplane, crew

BOSTON – The Coast Guard is responding to a report of a downed airplane with two people aboard today off the coast of Maine.

The Boston Air Route Traffic Control Center notified Coast Guard Sector Northern New England that they had lost communications and radar contact with the multi-engine Cessna at 1:30 p.m., 18 miles east of Portland, Maine.

The Coast Guard First District Command Center in Boston directed a Falcon jet crew from Air Station Cape Cod, Mass., to launch at 3:10 p.m. The air crew arrived and discovered a fuel sheen and debris in the reported area. Coast Guard Station South Portland deployed a 41-foot boat crew, which is searching the area. The crew of the Portland-based Coast Guard Cutter Jefferson Island is also en route to the scene.

“In addition to deploying our own assets, the sector in Portland broadcast an urgent message to local mariners for assistance,” said Lt. Jonathan Rice, of the First District Command Center in Boston. “Weve had great support from local first responders, the Maine Marine Patrol, Sea Tow, and several good Samaritans.”

The seas on scene are one foot and the winds are five to 10 knots. Visibility is one to three miles and the water temperature is 54.9 degrees.

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