The Coast Guard on Sunday suspended a search for possible survivors in the crash of a small plane off the coast Jamaica.
The single-engine prop plane was schedule to land Friday afternoon in Naples, on Florida’s southwest coast. But when the pilot did not respond to communication after indicating problems, fighter jets were scrambled to monitor the aircraft.
The plane, before running out of fuel, flew through Cuban air space, and then went down off the coast of Jamaica.
A Coast Guard air crew spotted possible debris and deployed buoys to mark the site for Jamaican Defense Force boat crews. The search continued on Saturday, but the debris had disappeared.
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"Our deepest sympathy goes out to the family of the two missing people; the Coast Guard suspends a search-and-rescue case with extremely great care and deliberation," Capt. Todd M. Coggeshall said in a statement Sunday.
The search covered about 3,750 square miles, but Jamaican crews were still scouring the waters off the northeast coastal town of Port Antonio.
Thunderstorms from a passing tropical wave were churning up white-crested waves and a military spokesman said searchers were losing hope of finding survivors or floating wreckage.
"We are still searching, but I must admit it looks very discouraging," said Maj. Basil Jarrett of the Jamaica Defense Force. "We haven't recovered anything as yet."
The crash claimed the lives of a prominent Rochester, New York, couple, Larry Glazer, 68, and his wife, Jane Glazer, 68. He is believed to have fallen unconscious while piloting the single-engine turboprop Socata TBM700.
Glazer bought up dozens of properties in Rochester, on the shores of Lake Ontario, including landmark buildings belonging to the manufacturing giants Xerox Corp. and Bausch + Lomb. He converted abandoned factories into loft apartments and turned a shuttered hospital into offices.
The developer had a way of "taking properties that were dead and breathing life back into them at a time when people were really skeptical about the ability to do that," said Heidi Zimmer-Meyer, president of Rochester's Downtown Development Corp..
Laurence and Jane Glazer, the founder of household-products catalog company QCI Direct, were both experienced pilots. They were flying to Naples, near where Glazer's development company, Buckingham Properties, also has interests.
"It's beyond tragic here. We're reeling," Zimmer-Meyer said, calling the couple "people who just cannot be replaced."
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy and Sen. Charles Schumer were among the officials who expressed sorrow for the couple's loss.
Duffy, the former mayor of Rochester, said the Glazers "possessed two of the brightest minds in business."
Harold Samoff, the lawyer who recruited Glazer to real estate in 1970, said his friend was a "man of many, many, many skills" who had an interest in "practically everything."
"Once he got involved, he knew it," Samoff said.
Glazer and Samoff started with a small apartment building, around the start of the city's long economic decline, and went on to acquire and revitalize more and bigger properties on the periphery of the city's core, reasoning that "just like blight can spread, improvement can spread, also," Samoff said.
"His contribution is actually incalculable because a lot of other people didn't step up" to refurbish buildings as early as he did, Samoff said.
Glazer was also generous with advice to others just starting out, Zimmer-Meyer said. She said she received a call last week from a young real estate entrepreneur who mentioned that Glazer had helped her.
"The one good thing is that he's left an unbelievable legacy," Zimmer-Meyer said. "The difficult thing is that he's gone."