Coast Guard Searching for Missing Pilot of Downed Aircraft Near Saint Croix

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Coast Guard rescue crews are searching for the pilot of a downed aircraft who reportedly crashed into the water Sunday, approximately two nautical miles west of Saint Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands.

So far, Coast Guard rescue crews, Saint Croix Search and Rescue, Saint Croix Blue Lightning Maritime Police and Good Samaritans at the scene have found a debris field from the aircraft, including a seat, and they continue to search for the missing pilot.

Levette Ruan, 62, a resident of Saint Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, was flying his Beach Baron twin-engine aircraft from Saint Thomas to Saint Croix to pick up passengers, when the aircraft crashed into the water as it was approaching Saint Croix.

Coast Guard Sector San Juan Joint Rescue Sub Center controllers received a call at 6:52 p.m. Sunday from the Saint Croix Air Traffic Control Tower reporting the downed aircraft.

The Coast Guard immediately launched an HH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Air Station Borinquen Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, a Coast Guard 25-foot response boat from Resident Inspectors Office, Saint Croix and diverted Coast Guard Cutter Matinicus to the scene to assist with the search efforts. The Coast Guard is also broadcasting an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast notice to mariners over VHF radio requesting mariners look for the missing pilot, render assistance if needed and report sightings to the U.S. Coast Guard. Motor vessel Deliverance and ferry boat Miss Bomar arrived to the scene Sunday and assisted with the search efforts to find the aircraft and missing pilot.

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