The search continues for possible survivors after a plane crashed off the coast of Fort Lauderdale, Florida last night.  Two people are confirmed dead.  A total of four people, including the pilots, are believed to have been on board.

The Coast Guard Seventh District received a call at approximately 7:56pm on Tuesday, November 19, 2013.  Search and rescue crews from Fort Lauderdale and Miami were deployed.

Lieutenant Commander Gabe Somma, USCG District 7 Public Affairs Officer, describes what happened.  He says more than fifty rescuers have been involved in the search and rescue efforts throughout the night and they will continue as the sun rises.

Petty Officer Mark Barney, USCG Public Affairs Specialist says that the search continues this morning.

Barney says the Coast Guard's thoughts are with the families of those impacted by the crash.

The plane is said to be a Learjet which departed from Fort Lauderdale International Airport and was en route to Cozumel, Mexico.

A debris field approximately two miles northeast of Fort Lauderdale International Airport has been found.

Lt. Commander Somma says that rescue efforts are taking into account weather conditions and wind direction.  He says that although the crash took place off of the coast of Florida, the possibility that survivors could be suffering from hypothermia cannot be discounted.

The USCG says that among those participating in the search are:

  • Two Coast Guard Station Fort Lauderdale boat crews
  • One Coast Guard Air Station Miami MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew
  • Coast Guard Cutter Gannet
  • Coast Guard Cutter Paul Clark
  • Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Search and Rescue Crews (3)
  • Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue Boat Crew

The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating.  The Coast Guard has issued travel advisories to boaters to avoid the area if possible and to report any wreckage seen.

These photos are from the United States Coast Guard:

Photo Credit: United States Coast Guard
Photo Credit: United States Coast Guard