Coast Guard searching for survivors of downed aircraft

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Coast Guard, Puerto Rico Police and Puerto Rico Emergency Management Agency rescue crews are searching for possible survivors of a Cessna 206 single-engine aircraft that went down Sunday afternoon in waters approximately half a mile off the coast of Quebradillas, Puerto Rico.

Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen HH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrews located a debris field at 10:30 p.m. Sunday half a nautical mile from Guajataca, Quebradillas believed to belong to the downed aircraft. So far no survivors or bodies have been located or recovered from the water.

Missing are the aircraft pilot and five passengers, all U.S. Citizens, who reportedly departed from Casa de Campo International Airport Sunday afternoon aboard a privately owned aircraft chartered by Tropical Aviation Corp. The aircraft and passengers onboard reportedly were scheduled to initially land at the Luis Muñoz Marin International Airport, Carolina to clear U.S. Customs prior to arriving at their final destination at the Isla Grande Airport in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Coast Guard Sector San Juan Joint Rescue Sub Center controllers received initial notification from a 911 Emergency System operator at 6:51 p.m. Sunday, who called and reported that an aircraft had crashed into the waters off the Quebradillas shoreline.

Coast Guard controllers launched HH-65 Dolphin helicopters from Air Station Borinquen Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, and diverted Coast Guard Cutter Matinicus to initiate the search for the missing aircraft and possible survivors. A Puerto Rico Police Joint Forces For Rapid Action F.U.R.A. helicopter and marine unit also responded to the scene, while Puerto Rico Police and Puerto Emergency Management Agency rescue crews are conducting land searches throughout the Quebradillas shoreline.

So far, Coast Guard rescue crews continue searching with surface and air assets after completing five searches and starting two others throughout the night.

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