The U.S. Coast Guard has suspended its search for a plane that crashed in the ocean near San Clemente Island on Wednesday, May 10 with three people on board, authorities said.
A Phoenix Learjet contracted by the United States Navy crashed around a mile southwest of the island at 7:53 a.m. after taking off from the Naval Air Station Point Mugu near Oxnard. An emergency broadcast was sent from the plane shortly before it crashed. The destination of the airplane has not been released. The identities of the passengers will be released at a later time by Phoenix Air, the Coast Guard said Thursday.
Search teams from the Coast Guard, Navy, Air Force and United States Customs & Border Protection conducted a search spanning over 300 square miles in the vicinity of the downed plane.
The search was suspended at 9 a.m. on Thursday, after more than 24 hours, according to the Coast Guard. Neither the plane nor its passengers were found.
"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 San Diego Coast Guard commander Captain Jim Spitler. "Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the missing passengers."
San Clemente Island has been owned by the Navy since 1937. It is used as a naval airfield. It is 55 nautical miles south of Long Beach and 68 nautical miles west of San Diego.
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