MIAMI (AP/WSVN) — The Coast Guard has suspended its search for a second pilot who was on board a cargo plane that crashed off Miami, leaving the victim’s loved ones devastated.
The Coast Guard said Saturday they suspended the search for the missing victim after 21 hours and covering more than 300 square miles.
Loved ones identified him as Capt. Robert Hopkins.
“People love him; he loves people. He’s there for you when you need it,” said his fiancée, Michele Gure.
Gure said she still held out holding out hope that he’d be found.
“It just doesn’t make sense,” she said.
But late Saturday afternoon, they Coast Guard officially called off the search.
“They came here, and they told me, and my son was here, and it was not registering,” said Gure.
Hopkins and the other pilot, identified by loved ones as Roland Silva, were delivering cargo for Conquest Air from the Bahamas to Miami-Opa Locka Executive Airport aboard a C-131.
Friday afternoon, the small aircraft crashed about 15 miles off the Haulover Inlet. A Coast Guard crew rescued Silva shortly after.
7News cameras captured Silva with apparent injuries to his forehead and chin as he was placed in a rescue chopper. He was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital, where he is listed in stable condition.
Following the Coast Guard’s announcement, Conquest Air released a statement that reads, “We would like to thank the U.S. Coast Guard and the Miami Police Department, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue and the City of Miami Fire Rescue, who also joined the search. Our thoughts remain with the family of Captain Robert Hopkins at this difficult time. This is a tremendous loss for our company. Captain Hopkins’ selfless leadership was and will always remain an example for us all.”
“I’m sure that he’s so happy and so pleased to see what a difference he actually made,” said Gure. “Even though he should be so confident, those times when he doubted in himself, and this just proves it and brings it to summation, the kind of person he is.”
The victims’ Convair was a twin-engine propeller plane manufactured in 1955.
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