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North Carolina Authorities said Monday that none of the eight people aboard a small private plane appearing. it crashed off the Atlantic Ocean over the weekend have survived as crews continue to search for areas of debris.
One body was recovered and identified, Carteret County Sheriff Asa Buck told reporters. He refused to reveal the identity of the deceased passenger.
“We have no indication that anyone survived the crash,” he said.
He said most of the passengers’ family members live in coastal Carteret County.
US Coast Guard Capt. Matthew Baer told reporters that multiple vessels from multiple agencies are continuing the search.
“We have a hands-on event here,” Baer said. “And we want the citizens of Carteret County and eastern North Carolina to know that their Coast Guard is doing everything possible together with our partners.”
Search teams were searching three separate debris fields. In a news release, the Coast Guard said it received a report of a possible downed aircraft about 4 miles east of Drum Inlet from an air traffic controller at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point. The controller said the plane was seen “behaving erratically” on radar and then disappeared from the radar screen.
The single-engine Pilatus PC-12/47 crashed into water approximately 18 miles northeast of Michael J. Smith Field in Beaufort, North Carolina around 2 p.m. local time Sunday, according to an email from the Federal Aviation Administration. A preliminary accident notice on the FAA website noted that the aircraft “crashed into water under unknown circumstances.”
A local news station identified two of the missing passengers as Hunter Parks and Parks’ girlfriend, Stephanie Fulcher. A friend and business associate of Parks told him WITN-TV that the couple was returning from a duck hunting trip when the accident occurred.
“He was one of the most generous people I know and he had a duck hunting property and he had invited a large number of youngsters and veterans,” said Tom Harrison. “There’s a special duck season, a 1-day duck season for juniors and veterans, and he had invited all of them to his property to go duck hunting. And they had hunted there on Saturday and were still in Hyde County at the time.” lunchtime yesterday and they flew home yesterday when the accident happened.”
In a tweet Monday afternoon, Gov. Roy Cooper thanked state and local agencies, as well as the Coast Guard, for supporting search efforts.
“Our prayers and deep concerns go out to the families and loved ones of the passengers,” he wrote.
Associated Press contributed to this report.