January 27, 2023

Divers search for three family members who were aboard a small plane that crashed in the Gulf of Mexico

Divers search for three family members who were aboard a small plane that crashed in the Gulf of Mexico (Photo: Venice Police)

A family of three, including a 12-year-old child, were on a small plane when it crashed off the coast of Florida on Saturday night.

Investigators are still searching for the man they believe piloted the plane that crashed without warning on a flight between Venice, Florida and St Petersburg.

The victims were identified as Christian Kath, 42, Misty Kath, 43, and their daughter, Lily Kath, 12.

Divers discovered Misty’s body about 2 miles off the coast of Venice Beach, while Lily was found still on the plane. Christian, who investigators say piloted the plane, is still missing.

Volunteer divers found the remains of a family member 2 miles off the coast of Florida (Photo: Venice Police)

The search for the father is expected to continue, with assistance from the U.S. Coast Guard, Sarasota County Sheriff’s Department and other law enforcement agencies.

Investigators have asked area sailors to help if they see any signs of the man or plane debris.

The family came from Australia but lived in Saint Petersburg. On Saturday, they had chartered a Piper Cherokee plane in town to fly south to Venice for the evening, police chief Charlie Thorpe said.

“They traveled here, it seems, for supper. and intended to return directly to St. Pete.”

The site of the plane’s crash was less than a mile from the airport it had taken off from (Photo: Venice police)

The plane only reached about 1/3 mile from the airfield before unexpectedly crashing into the ocean. The pilot made no emergency calls before the crash.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the exact cause of the plane’s fatal crash.

This is not the first fatal plane crash off US shores this year. In September, a single-engine plane carries tourists across the Puget Sound crashed near San Juan Island, Washington.

Ten people were on board the plane, which eluded search and rescue personnel for days before being recovered. Only one person’s body was recovered after the crash.

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