Feb. 9 (UPI) -- The U.S. Coast Guard announced Saturday the suspension of a search for a missing co-pilot of a small cargo plane that crashed in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of South Florida.
The other pilot, 28-year-old Rolland Silva, was rescued by the Coast Guard on Friday afternoon, about 13 miles east of Bay Harbor Island, WPLG-TV reported. The plane appeared to break up after it hit the water.
"Suspending a search is never an easy decision and a lot of factors are considered and calculated before we make that decision," Capt. Megan Dean, commander of Coast Guard Sector Miami, said in a news release. "We have been in regular contact with the family members throughout our search efforts and extend our sympathies for what we know is a very difficult time for them."
The Coast Guard conducted ship and aircraft searches for approximately 21 hours and concentrated in an area of 364 square nautical miles. The Miami-Dade Police Department and Miami-Dade Fire Rescue also searched for the missing person.
The 1955 Convair C-131B cargo plane, which is owned by Conquest Air, departed from Lynden Pindling International Airport in Nassau, Bahamas, and was headed to Miami-Opa Locka Executive Airport. It crashed around 12:15 p.m. Friday, the Federal Aviation Administration told WSVN-TV.
Watchstanders with Coast Guard Sector Miami were notified by Miami-Dade Police Department of a possible downed two-engine aircraft with two people reportedly aboard.
The crew of a Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter, already in the air on a training mission, spotted Silva floating on a life raft.
He was listed in stable condition after he was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital's Ryder Trauma Center in Miami.
Coast Guard Cutter Robert Yered, Coast Guard Air Station MH-65 Dolphin helicopters, an Air Station Miami HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircraft searched the area.