Coast Guard suspends search for downed aircraft east of Jacksonville

Coast Guard HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircraft file photo

Coast Guard HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircraft file photo

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Coast Guard responders have suspended their search for a downed aircraft off the coast of Jacksonville.

Coast Guard 7th District suspended after searching approximately 1400 square miles for 56 hours.

Coast Guard assets involved in the 21 sorties include:

  • Coast Guard Cutter Ridley
  • Coast Guard Cutter Sawfish
  • Coast Guard Station Mayport response boats
  • MH-65 Dolphin helicopters from Coast Guard Air Station Savannah and Miami
  • MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater
  • HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircraft from Coast Guard Air Station Miami

Other agencies involved in the search include the Navy, Customs and Border Protection, St. John’s Fire & Rescue, Jacksonville Fire & Rescue Department, and the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.

“The suspension of an active search and rescue case is never an easy decision to make,” said Christopher Eddy, search and rescue mission coordinator for the 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.”

At approximately 9:45 a.m. Thursday, the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center (AFRCC) notified Coast Guard 7th District watchstanders of an aircraft distress call. The Piper PA-46 aircraft was en route to New Jersey from Orlando with two people on board.

Anyone with information is asked to contact responders.

Names of the passengers are being withheld until next of kin notification protocol has been completed.

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