The active search for those aboard a small plane that crashed off the Southern California coast is being suspended, the US Coast Guard announced Thursday.
Coast Guard, Navy and US Customs and Border Protection crews covered approximately 334 square miles, locating a debris field, but none of the three people believed to have been aboard the plane, according to a release from the USCG.
“Suspending search efforts is one of the hardest decisions to be made, but after aggressively searching the area around San Clemente Island for more than 24 hours using land, air and surface assets with negative results, the decision was made to suspend the active search until further information or developments occur,” said Capt. Jim Spitler, sector commander for the USCG in San Diego. “Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the missing passengers.”c
The small Learjet crashed Wednesday about 80 miles east of San Diego, just south of San Clemente Island.
The aircraft was contracted by the Navy and owned by Phoenix Air, according to Chief Petty Officer Levi Read, who corrected his earlier statement that the plane belonged to Fireside Partners.
“Unfortunately, that was bad info,” Read told CNN.