The U.S. Coast Guard searched all day Saturday, overnight and all day Sunday, but hasn’t found any trace of the three people missing when a plane piloted by Kirby Hodge went down early Saturday on a flight between St. Croix and St. Thomas.
“We are fully committed to find these people. We’re throwing everything we have at it,” Coast Guard spokesman Ricardo Castrodad said Sunday.
On Saturday, a the crew of a Planning and Natural Resources Department boat pulled a woman identified as Valerie Jackson from the water after a Coast Guard plane spotted her in the water.
She was able to tell the crew about the missing woman and two men. One of the missing men was identified by a friend as Hodge.
Castrodad declined to provide names of those missing.
The plane, a Piper Aztec, was delivering newspapers from St. Croix to St. Thomas.
Castrodad said the Coast Guard cutter Sapelo was on the scene along with an HC-144 ocean-searching fixed wing aircraft, a quick response boat, a Coast Guard auxiliary aircraft, and helicopters. Additionally, a C-130 plane arrived from the states to assist with the search.
“The Sapelo and the C-130 will be searching all night,” he said.
Castrodad said the search will continue Monday.
He said pilots of privately-owned aircraft were assisting in the search, but urged anyone planning to join the search to notify the Coast Guard.