A “debris field” has been located in the Bermuda Triangle by a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter crew searching for a small plane with four passengers, including a Manhattan CEO with ties to Southold and her two young sons, officials said on Tuesday.
The debris was found in the Atlantic Ocean about 15 miles east of Eleuthera, Bahamas; the search for survivors continues from the plane that was bound for Florida from Puerto Rico when it went missing Monday afternoon, the U.S. Coast Guard said.
Jennifer Blumin, 40, her 3- and 4-year-old sons, and Nathan Ulrich, 52, of Lee, New Hampshire, were aboard the twin-engine Mitsubishi when communications were lost while it was about 37 miles east of Eleuthera, the U.S. Coast Guard said. Ulrich was listed as the pilot, according to media reports.
The Coast Guard had been searching for the plane since Miami air traffic control reported it had lost radio and radar contact at 2:10 p.m.
On Tuesday at about 3:30 p.m., a Coast Guard Jayhawk helicopter crew based in Clearwater, Florida found the debris field; a rescue swimmer retrieved some objects so that they could be identified onshore, the Coast Guard said.
The plane was traveling at a speed of about 300 knots and was 24,000 feet above the ground when it lost contact with air traffic control, the Coast Guard said. The trip began in Borinquen, Puerto Rico at about 11 a.m., the Coast Guard said, and the travelers were headed for Titusville, Florida.
Blumin is the founder and chief executive of Skylight Group, a Manhattan firm that finds venues for top fashion shows.
“We can confirm that the plane carrying Jennifer Blumin and members of her family has gone missing after taking off from Puerto Rico yesterday,” a company official said in an email statement Tuesday. “Her family is working with investigators and we politely ask that you respect their privacy at this time.”
The 10-seat plane is registered to Ithaca Consulting, which is listed as having the same Southold address where records also show Blumin and James Ramsey own a home.
Ramsey is a Manhattan architect and principal of the design studio Raad. He was not available for comment through his firm.
Ulrich owns Xootr LLC, which makes scooters and is also the technical director of Radon Sport LLC, which works on race cars, according to his LinkedIn page.
“We are currently monitoring the case and coordinating with the Coast Guard and Civil Air Patrol,” a spokesman for the National Transportation Safety Board said by email.
If the plane came down in international waters, the NTSB likely would lead the investigation; if it plummeted into Bahamian territorial waters, that country might serve that role.
The Coast Guard said it deployed a C-130 Hercules airplane crew to search for the overdue plane on Monday. On Tuesday, it said it sent out another C-130 Hercules airplane and a Jayhawk helicopter crew to continue the search.
The Coast Guard Cutter Bernard C. Webber was assisting, along with the Customs and Border Patrol and the Royal Bahamas Defense Force, the Coast Guard said.