Coast Guard suspends search and rescue operations for downed aircraft

65 Los AngelesLOS ANGELES – At 9:15 a.m. the Coast Guard has suspended active search efforts regarding the San Pedro aircraft incident that occurred in the late afternoon on Friday, Feb. 5, 2016.

The Coast Guard had two 87-foot patrol boats, Coast Guard Cutter Narwahl and Coast Guard Cutter Blackfin, that conducted search patterns throughout the night until 9:15 a.m. Saturday morning.

A first light search was conducted at 6:45 a.m. Saturday morning by an MH-65D Dolphin Helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Los Angeles.

Wacthstanders at Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles/ Long Beach received initial notification from a bystander of a small aircraft entering the water at approximately 3 p.m.

The Coast Guard immediately launched a 45-foot Response Boat- Medium from Coast Guard Station Los Angeles/ Long Beach along with a MH-65 from Coast Guard Air Station Los Angeles to investigate the area of notification, along with assets from several partner agencies.

The Coast Guard confirmed that two vessel were involved in a mid-air collision off San Pedro after two separate tail identification numbers from two separate aircraft were recovered and confirmed by the Federal Aviation Association.

The rescue operation has transitioned to a recovery operation with the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department as the lead agency.  The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department plans to conduct diving and sonar operations to locate wreckage.

The Coast Guard safety zone surrounding all recovery operations remains in effect until further notice.  All traffic that normally transiting through Angels Gate should re-route and enter and depart from the Queens Gate entrance.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the incident.

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