Coast Guard, local agencies continue search for missing man off American Samoa

Coast Guard, local agencies continue search for missing man off American Samoa

AMERICAN SAMOA (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Coast Guard and local agencies continue their search efforts for a man who went missing in a plane crash near Pago Pago in American Samoa on the night of July 22nd.

The search for 58-year-old Babar Suleman continued throughout the day, but was suspended Thursday evening due to decreased visibility.

Debris was recovered from the plane crash and some of the items found included two survival suits, life jackets, emergency locator transmitter, a seat, and heavily damaged sections of the fuselage.

The Coast Guard Joint Rescue Coordination Center in Honolulu is coordinating search efforts with the HC-130 Hercules airplane crew from Air Station Barbers Point, a patrol boat from the American Samoa Marine Patrol, and the Tug Sa'ilele.

Coast Guard watch standers at the JRCC received notification from the Regional Command Center in New Zealand that a Beechcraft Bonanza with two passengers aboard crashed into the water approximately one mile from shore. The RCC in New Zealand attained that information from the plane's Emergency Locator Transmitter.

On scene weather conditions aren't ideal with seven to ten foot seas, 15 to 20 mph winds, and visibility being approximately seven nautical miles with scattered clouds and rain showers.

The total amount of area searched is 3,396 square miles, and the Coast Guard and partner agency assets have been searching for a total of 63 hours.

The search resumed Friday and will continue throughout the day.

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