Father, son on plane that crashed Thursday in Atlantic Ocean

Rescue efforts end after 1,400 square miles were searched with no sign of plane

Peter Renzulli identified as on board missing plane
Peter Renzulli identified as on board missing plane

MAYPORT, Fla. – The search for the missing plane that went down off the coast of Pone Vedra on Thursday morning has been suspended. Rescuers spent 56 hours searching 1,400 square miles but nothing has been recovered.

The Piper PA-46 aircraft was on its way to New Jersey from Orlando with two people on board when the plane crashed into the Atlantic just after 9 a.m. Thursday. 

The passengers aboard the missing plane have been identified as Peter Renzulli, 51, of Bridgewater, and his 18-year-old son Daniel, by an attorney for the family.

“The family was devastated to learn that the aircraft could not be located,” said Justin Marchetta, a Parsippany aviation attorney. “Peter and Daniel are accomplished pilots and their disappearance is heartbreaking” he said.

Peter Renzulli had recently completed 30 hours of advanced instruction in the Piper Malibu and was looking forward to returning to New Jersey. “We ask that the privacy of the Renzulli family be respected at this difficult time,” said Mr. Marchetta, “and we ask that those following this story keep the Renzullis in their thoughts and prayers”. He added that “the NTSB is conducting an investigation, but it may be several months before all of the facts surrounding this incident are known”.

“The suspension of an active search and rescue case is never an easy decision to make,” Christopher Eddy, search and rescue mission coordinator for the Coast Guard 7th District, said, “We always want the best-case scenario to happen and will continue to monitor for new information that could aid responders.”

It was all hands on deck in the search for the downed plane. 

The search team included:

  • Coast Guard Cutter Ridley.
  • Coast Guard Cutter Sawfish.
  • Coast Guard station Mayport response boats.
  • MH-65 Dolphin helicopters from Coast Guard air stations Savannah and Miami.
  • MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater.
  • HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircraft from Coast Guard Air Station Miami.

The Navy, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, St. John’s County Fire Rescue, the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department, and the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office also took part in the search. 

Read previous article on the plane crash Here

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