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HomeNewsArchivesCOAST GUARD SEARCHING FOR ST. CROIX PILOT

COAST GUARD SEARCHING FOR ST. CROIX PILOT

Feb, 17, 2004 — The U.S. Coast Guard on Tuesday intensified its search for an aircraft which fell off radar Sunday night while en route from Puerto Rico to St. Croix. Authorities believe the pilot on board the single-engine plane to be St. Croix resident and dentist Sheldon Prudoff.
Petty Officer John Gaffney at the Coast Guard’s Search and Rescue Mission Center in San Juan said the search would continue through the day Tuesday with air and water craft combing the areas north and south of Vieques and west of St. Croix. "An H-65 helicopter finished a search this morning with negative findings. But a C-130 with special sensors is being brought in from Clearwater, Fla., to work the search area," Gaffney said.
In addition, he said, a Falcon jet will be working the search along with the Coast Guard cutter Mantinicus. Gaffney said the search is being widened after reports reached authorities that a life raft was spotted south of Vieques. "While we have not been able to substantiate that report, we have factored it into the search planning," he said.
Search planners are calculating the drift that a life raft would have taken from the area where it was reportedly spotted and are using that data in organizing the search and rescue mission. "That is why we are searching three distinct areas instead of the one area we started out with," Gaffney said.
The aircraft, which was not operating on a flight plan, is reported to have fallen off radar around 9 p.m. Sunday. "The information we received is that it was operated by Prudoff, a resident of Beeston Hill, St. Croix," Gaffney said. He had no information as to whether there were passengers aboard.

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Feb, 17, 2004 -- The U.S. Coast Guard on Tuesday intensified its search for an aircraft which fell off radar Sunday night while en route from Puerto Rico to St. Croix. Authorities believe the pilot on board the single-engine plane to be St. Croix resident and dentist Sheldon Prudoff.
Petty Officer John Gaffney at the Coast Guard’s Search and Rescue Mission Center in San Juan said the search would continue through the day Tuesday with air and water craft combing the areas north and south of Vieques and west of St. Croix. "An H-65 helicopter finished a search this morning with negative findings. But a C-130 with special sensors is being brought in from Clearwater, Fla., to work the search area," Gaffney said.
In addition, he said, a Falcon jet will be working the search along with the Coast Guard cutter Mantinicus. Gaffney said the search is being widened after reports reached authorities that a life raft was spotted south of Vieques. "While we have not been able to substantiate that report, we have factored it into the search planning," he said.
Search planners are calculating the drift that a life raft would have taken from the area where it was reportedly spotted and are using that data in organizing the search and rescue mission. "That is why we are searching three distinct areas instead of the one area we started out with," Gaffney said.
The aircraft, which was not operating on a flight plan, is reported to have fallen off radar around 9 p.m. Sunday. "The information we received is that it was operated by Prudoff, a resident of Beeston Hill, St. Croix," Gaffney said. He had no information as to whether there were passengers aboard.

Back Talk


Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name, and the city and state/country or island where you reside.

Publisher's note : Like the St. Croix Source now? Find out how you can love us twice as much -- and show your support for the islands' free and independent news voice... click here.