Coast Guard suspends search efforts for two people aboard plane crash

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MIAMI — The Coast Guard has suspended its search efforts Thursday for the two remaining passengers who were aboard the Learjet that crashed on Tuesday three miles east of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

“The United States Coast Guard and our partners express the deepest condolences to the friends and families who lost loved ones in this tragic incident,” said Capt. Todd Lutes, chief of incident management branch. “The Coast Guard will continue to assist the National Transportation Safety Board in their investigative efforts.”

At approximately 8:15 p.m. Tuesday, watchstanders at the Coast Guard Seventh District command center received a report of a plane crash off the coast of Fort Lauderdale from the Federal Aviation Administration. Search-and-rescue crews were immediately dispatched and searched day and night for the aircraft and for possible survivors. After searching for two days, the Coast Guard has suspended search-and-rescue operations until new evidence is presented.

The Coast Guard and assisting agencies have searched approximately 4,000 sqaure miles for possible survivors and debris from the crash, roughly larger than the state of Rhode Island. More than a 1,000 pounds of debris was located and recovered and was provided to National Transportation Safety Board.

The remains of two people aboard the Learjet were recovered Tuesday night and transported to the local coroner’s office in Broward county.

The search area stretched north of Fort Lauderdale in the vicinity of Jupiter Inlet, Fla., and as far south as Hollywood, Fla.

Participating search-and-rescue crews were:

  • Coast Guard Station Fort Lauderdale
  • Coast Guard Air Station Miami MH-65 Dolphin helicopter and HC-144 aircrews
  • Coast Guard Cutter Gannet
  • Coast Guard Cutter Paul Clark
  • Broward County Sheriff’s Office
  • Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
  • Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue


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