Coast Guard suspends search for downed aircraft 221 miles northeast of Bahamas

Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point C-130 Hercules aircraft file photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Tara Molle

Coast Guard  C-130 Hercules aircraft file photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Tara Molle

MIAMI — The Coast Guard suspended its search for a downed aircraft Saturday approximately 221 miles northeast of Marsh Harbor, Bahamas.

Two Florida Air National Guard F-15 fighter aircraft witnessed the plane crash in the ocean.

Coast Guard 7th District watchstanders were notified by Miami Mission Control of a non-responsive pilot traveling from St. Louis, Missouri to Fort Lauderdale, Florida in a 2001 twin-engine Cessna Citation aircraft at approximately 5 p.m. Watchstanders launched a Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater HC-130 Hercules airplane crew to respond to the incident.

MMC stated the aircraft was reported to only have a pilot aboard.

The Coast Guard conducted aerial searches concentrated in an area of 642 square nautical miles.

“Suspending a search is one of the most difficult decisions we ever have to make, and we never make it lightly,” said Christopher Eddy, search and rescue mission coordinator at Coast Guard 7th District. “We always want the best case scenario to happen and will continue to monitor for new information that could aid responders.”

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