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Rescue mission in Taylor County enters third day

Published: Sep. 15, 2020 at 10:58 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Day three of rescue efforts continue in Taylor County after a small plane went down near Tide Swamp on Sunday.

Since then, officials have found parts of that small aircraft, but not the two people who were on board.

Nicholas Posada is a flight instructor who is friends with the pilot and passenger who were on board.

“(I) still have hope and pray that we still find life somewhere. Because we don’t know they can be anywhere at this point in any condition,” Posada said.

Over the phone, he told WCTV his hopes after spending countless hours in the air, searching for his friends. Posada was the flight instructor for both the pilot and passenger who owned the aircraft. They were last seen in the aircraft, which was a Vans RV-9, that was heading to Tampa from Gulf Shores, Alabama.

“I couldn’t believe it I was tracking their flight on Sunday," shared Posada, "And I was told that they lost radar, but nothing has ever happened like this before.”

Posada said he immediately reached out to other friends and volunteers, and since the aircraft was lost on the radar around 12:43 p.m. on Sunday, have been flying in the skies, searching the waters for the two passengers.

On Tuesday, the Taylor County Sheriffs Office, along with the assistance of Dixie County Sheriff’s Office, FWC, the Forestry Department, and G-Fast Crew, they found the plane’s fuselage, engine, and propeller along with smaller pieces.

However, the two occupants, remain lost at sea. WCTV is choosing at this time to not name the individuals, as law enforcement has not released their identities.

Posada expresses, “I am freaking out, trying to stay calm and at the same time praying for them and hoping for the best.”

Gina Deeson with the Taylor County Sheriff’s Office states, “We are still holding out hope but I am not sure how long that will be able to last.”

And as search efforts continue in Steinhatchee, Deeson says weather makes it all the more difficult, “At times we have had to stop due to the weather or we have been called in because of bad weather coming in, then we could regroup and resume our mission so it has absolutely played a factor.”

But even through the rain and high tides, law enforcement, volunteers, and friends, will not stop, until they have done everything they can.

Search efforts will begin at sunrise and end at sundown until the individuals are found.

Copyright 2020 WCTV. All rights reserved.

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