Coast Guard suspends search for 3 people aboard possible downed aircraft off Molokai

HONOLULU — The Coast Guard suspended the active search Sunday at sunset for a possible downed aircraft with three people aboard near Ilio Point, Molokai.

“Our most heartfelt condolences go out to the families and friends of Michael, Whitney and John,” said Lt. Nic Iannarone, Coast Guard Joint Rescue Coordination Center command duty officer. “Suspending a search is an incredibly difficult decision to make, especially during the holiday season. Our crews along with Maui County Fire Department and the National Parks Service have completely covered the search areas on ground and sea and have found no trace of the Cessna.”

Responders conducted a total of 29 searches covering 1,473 square miles over a span of three days.

Involved in the search were:

– Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crews and C-130 Hercules airplane crews from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point

– Crews of Coast Guard Cutter Kittiwake and Coast Guard Cutter Galveston Island from Honolulu

– Crews aboard Air and surface assets from Molokai Fire Department and Maui County Fire Department

– National Parks Service personnel

At 7 p.m. Friday, watchstanders at the Coast Guard Joint Rescue Coordination Center in Honolulu received a call from personnel at the Honolulu Control Facility stating a Cessna with three people aboard reportedly disappeared from radar while enroute from Molokai airport to Honolulu.

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