Coast Guard Suspends Search for Harris Sullivan

MIAMI – The Coast Guard suspended its search for a Port Richey, Fla., man Monday at 7:52 a.m. after his aircraft went missing 50 miles northwest of Nassau, Bahamas, Saturday.

Harris Sullivan, 68, and his single-engine aircraft were reported missing to Coast Guard search and rescue coordinators by the Federal Aviation Administration about 11 a.m. Saturday. The FAA reported radar and radio contact had been lost with Sullivan while en route Palm Beach Airport, in West Palm Beach, Fla., from Nassau International Airport.

An HH-60 Jayhawk helicopter deployed in support of Operation Bahamas, Turks and Caicos from Air Station Clearwater, Fla., an HC-130 Hercules aircraft from Air Station Clearwater, Fla., and an HU-25 Falcon jet from Air Station Miami were launched to search for Sullivan. The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Forward was diverted from its patrol to assist in the search and remained on scene during the three-day search.

A Hercules aircrew from Air Station Clearwater, located an orange life raft Saturday night approximately 15 miles southwest of Sullivan’s last-know position. A Dolphin helicopter crew and a Falcon jet crew from Air Station Miami were launched to investigate. Initially, from a distance assessment of the life raft found no markings that would correlate it to Sullivan or his aircraft.

On Sunday, an Air Force HC-130P/N Hercules aircraft, from the 39th Rescue Squadron and two Air Force HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopters, from the 301st Rescue Squadron, all from the 920th Rescue Wing from Patrick Air Force Base, Cape Canaveral, Fla., arrived on scene at 11:30 a.m. to help with the search.

An Air Force HH-60 helicopter reacquired and hoisted the raft and passed it to the Cutter Forward. Closer examination by the Forward’s crew revealed information that indicate the raft was indeed from Sullivan’s missing aircraft.

Almost 20,000 square-miles was searched for Sullivan and his aircraft.

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