US Coast Guard suspends search for missing pilot off Boca Raton, Florida

The US Coast Guard Marine Protector-class cutter USCGC Cochito (Photo: US Coast Guard/Joseph P. Crone)

US Coast Guard District Seven watchstanders have suspended the search for a missing aircraft and its pilot that are believed to have crashed in the waters off Boca Raton, Florida, on February 23.

The decision was made to suspend the search for the single-engined light aircraft piloted by 87-year-old Brendan Spratt one week after both were reported missing.

The coast guard said it has exhausted all leads for the search.

Spratt’s son reported to watchstanders that his father last checked in on February 23 at 18:00 local time.

Spratt was reportedly flying from Spruce Creek to Boca Raton and was scheduled to land that same day in a private community that had its own airstrip.

Coast guard assets including the cutters Cochito and Heron and several aircraft were deployed to assist in the search. The US Air Force also rendered assistance.

The rescue crews were unable to locate any debris within an area that spanned more than 41,000 square kilometres off the coast of Boca Raton.

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