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Family of 3's rental plane recovered from Gulf of Mexico after crash

WFLA Tampa 12/6/2022 Katlyn Brieskorn

VENICE, Fla. (WFLA) - A family of three’s rental plane was recovered from the Gulf of Mexico on Monday evening.

Venice police said a rented Piper Cherokee crashed in the Gulf of Mexico on Saturday night. The plane was piloted by a 42-year-old man. The pilot and two of his family members left the Venice Municipal Airport at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

First responders searched for hours before finding the plane about one-third of a mile into the ocean. Authorities said the plane was about 15 feet underwater.

Over the weekend, recreational divers found the body of a woman who police later confirmed was related to the pilot. Search and rescue divers later found the body of a 12-year-old girl who was also related to the pilot. Authorities did not say how they were all related.

Officers said search efforts have been suspended for the day with divers unable to find the missing pilot. They said they regroup on Tuesday to discuss the next steps.

  • (Venice Police Department) © Provided by WFLA Tampa (Venice Police Department)
  • (Venice Police Department) © Provided by WFLA Tampa (Venice Police Department)

Venice police said the aircraft was brought to the Higel Marine Park boat ramp in Venice on Monday evening. It will be taken to a secure National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) facility in Jacksonville for further investigation.

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