Saturday, May 13, 2017

Search for Possible Downed Aircraft Near Redondo Beach Harbor Suspended: US Coast Guard

US Coast Guard officials have suspended a search for a possible downed aircraft two miles away from Redondo Beach Harbor after a four hour search on Saturday.

Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles-Long Beach authorities received an emergency notification from an aircraft's emergency locator transmitter beacon around 11:45 a.m., according to a Coast Guard press release. 

Several witnesses in the area told authorities they saw oil sheen on the surface of the water near the Redondo Beach Harbor entrance but no planes were reported missing, the Coast Guard said.

A MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew and 45-foot response boat were both launched to search for possible debris, and the Los Angeles County Fire Department assisted in the investigation.

The Coast Guard determined that there was no aircraft in distress and suspended the operation around 5 p.m.

Story and video:

Helicopters scoured the waters off Redondo Beach on Saturday for a downed aircraft, but it could have been a false alarm, said Petty Officer Andrea Anderson at the U.S. Coast Guard Station in Long Beach. 

Helicopters and boats with the Coast Guard as well as Los Angeles County Fire Department led by Baywatch Redondo searched the waters from El Segundo to Palos Verdes in a grid pattern for nearly two hours beginning around noon on Saturday.

Anderson said the Coast Guard received a notification at about 11:45 a.m. from an aircraft emergency response beacon, but has not confirmed yet whether a plane had actually entered the water. It was possibly a false alarm that led them to believe a plane had crashed into the ocean, she said. 

"We have not found any debris," she said. "We've been in touch with the Torrance Airport and, as of right now, it's just a preliminary investigation."

There were no eyewitnesses to a plane crash, although one person reported seeing an oil sheen on the water beyond the Redondo Beach Harbor in the vicinity where the emergency response beacon had indicated the downed plane, Anderson said. 

"Sometimes these response beacons can ping off the nearest tower and it can actually give a false location, especially if you're in the city and it goes off," said Anderson. "It can ping off several towers creating a false alarm."

Original article can be found here:

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