Small Plane Crashes Off Fire Island

A small plane crashed in the waters off Fire Island on Saturday and sank before fishermen in the area could rescue two people on board, the Coast Guard said.

The cause of the crash was unclear. The accident was first reported at about 3:05 p.m. by fishermen who said they saw the plane crash in Moriches Inlet, Petty Officer Erik Swanson, a Coast Guard spokesman, said.

Petty Officer Swanson said the fishermen reported seeing two people, a man and a woman, unconscious in the plane’s cockpit, but were unable to open the doors to carry them out. They attached a rope to the plane to keep it from drifting, but it sank before other rescuers arrived.

The plane sank in about 15 to 20 feet of water, Petty Officer Swanson said. As of Saturday evening, divers had not been able to retrieve the two passengers, who were presumed dead, he said.

He said rescuers hoped to recover the plane by Sunday, at which point the Federal Aviation Administration would begin an investigation into the cause of the crash.

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