At around 11:00 p.m. last night, Historic City News was informed that a private aircraft had crashed in the area of Marineland on the St Johns – Flagler County border.
After receiving the 9-1-1 call, the search and rescue operation began, coordinated by the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office.
“It is sad that our efforts did not lead to the rescue of the occupants of the aircraft,” Sheriff Rick Staly told local reporters at the scene. “There was great cooperation with our local, state and federal partners.”
Some debris was recovered during the search in the predawn hours today on the Matanzas River; however, just after 11:30 a.m., the main part of the aircraft was discovered by a WESH-2 News helicopter in the River to Sea Preserve.
According to a media update this afternoon, once ground personnel arrived at the crash scene, they determined that there were no survivors and the event turned from a search and rescue into a recovery operation.
At that point, the National Transportation Safety Board took over the investigation of the incident.
“I am thankful to our friends at Marineland and the assistance provided by the WESH -2 News Helicopter team,” Staley added.
Members of the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office, Flagler County Fire Rescue, St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office, St. Johns Fire Rescue, Volusia County Sheriff’s Office, United States Coast Guard, United States Customs, and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission all participated on the search for the missing aircraft.