Body recovered after small plane crashes off Florida coast
Rescuers recovered a body inside an aircraft that crashed Sunday night off the South Florida coast, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.
Divers from the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office found the body of 24-year-old Abhishek Patter about 11 a.m. Monday, officials said in an email to NBC News.
Authorities had been searching for Patter, the sole occupant of the single-engine Piper PA-28, after the plane went down down near the Boynton Beach inlet around 8 p.m. Sunday.
The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office said their helicopter search party located the “pretty much intact” airplane under an estimated 40 feet of water shortly after daybreak on Monday.
“Our sincere condolences go out to the family who lost their loved one,” Capt. Jo-Ann Burdian, the commander of Coast Guard Sector Miami, said. “The Coast Guard and our partner agencies who participated in this search truly hoped for a different outcome to this tragic situation.”
Along with the Coast Guard and the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, authorities from the Boynton Beach Police Department and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission were involved in the search.
NBC News South Florida reported the plane was en route from Palm Beach County Park Airport to Merritt Island Airport.
WPTV, an NBC News affiliate, reported that Patter’s family shared a statement saying he was a computer engineer who quit to pursue his dream of becoming a commercial pilot, like his father, a retired member of the Indian Navy.
“Abhishek Patter, the deceased pilot was training with a local flight school in Merrit Island to become a commercial pilot. He was on a routine solo night flight training mission when the accident occurred,” the statement read.
“We are currently working with the local authorities to repatriate his mortal remains back to India to be cremated there.”