Coast Guard suspends search for pilot of plane that crashed in Hood Canal

SEABECK, Wash. -- The Coast Guard on Monday night suspended the search for the pilot of a plane crash after searching for more than eight hours near Seabeck.

“Our prayers and heartfelt wishes go out to the friends and loved ones of those affected by this tragedy,” said Lt. Raphael Sadowitz, the command duty officer at Sector Puget Sound.

“We also extend our gratitude to the good Samaritans who were quick to report the incident and the local law enforcement personnel who aided in our search. Their efforts helped ensure our ability to swiftly find the location of the crash and thoroughly cover the surrounding areas.”

There have been no reports of a missing plane. However, items recovered by search crews, including a driver’s license, have allowed investigators to identify the pilot and notify the next of kin. It is Coast Guard policy to withhold names for 24 hours after next of kin have been notified.

After receiving a call from Kitsap County 911 operators around 1 p.m. Monday reporting a small plane with an unknown number of people on board had crashed in the waters of the Hood Canal, Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound launched two MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crews, a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew, and diverted the crew of Coast Guard Cutter Henry Blake to the reported crash site.

Other agency responders included personnel from Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office, Mason County Sheriff's Office and Jefferson County Sheriff's Office.

Weather reported at the time of the incident consisted of clear skies, 12 to 15 mph winds, 1-foot seas and an air temperature of 53 degrees Fahrenheit and water temperature of 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

The search is suspended pending further developments.