Oct. 28 (UPI) -- The U.S. Coast Guard has suspended its search for a civilian aircraft carrying five people that crashed off the coast of South Carolina.
The Coast Guard 7th District searched 3,516 square miles for 76 hours before calling off the search for the Piper PA-31 that was reported down about 110 miles east of Charleston on Thursday.
"It is with a heavy heart that we suspend our search for the missing aircraft and its five passengers," Capt. John Reed, commander of the Coast Guard's Charleston station said Saturday night. "I have spoken with the family of those that were on this plane and extend my deepest sympathies to them and all those who have been hit by this tragic loss at sea."
The plane was traveling from South Carolina to the Bahamas. the Jacksonville Air Route Traffic Control Center received a report from the aircraft of an in-flight emergency.
Air traffic control later lost contact with the plane on radar and notified the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and it was at about 11:33 a.m. Thursday.
Coast Guard and Navy crews as well as the commercial vessel Seabulk Challenge were involved in the search operation.