The United States Coast Guard has suspended its search for passengers, including four teenagers, who were believed to be on board a plane that crashed off the coast of North Carolina on Sunday.
The Coast Guard announced it was suspending the search on Tuesday, saying it would continue to work with local partners through ongoing recovery operations.
“Our deepest sympathies are with the Down East community,” said Capt. Matt Baer, sector commander, Sector North Carolina.
Eight people were believed to be aboard the Pilatus PC-12 single-engine airplane when it appeared to crash about 4 miles east of Drum Inlet at around 2 p.m. on Sunday, according to the Coast Guard.
The body of one person was found on Sunday and on Tuesday, the Carteret County Sheriff’s Office said the remains of other passengers had been recovered. It did not say how many bodies had been recovered.
The sheriff’s office released the identities of all eight people who were believed to have been on board the plane, with three 15-year-olds and one 16-year-old among them.
All of the passengers were from North Carolina and were believed to have been returning from a hunting trip in Hyde County to Beaufort when the plane crashed, authorities said.
Among the passengers were Stephanie Ann McInnis Fulcher, 42, Jonathan Kole McInnis, 15 and Douglas Hunter Parks, 45. Fulcher’s brother-in-law, Buddy Goodwin, told NBC News on Monday that McInnis was Fulcher’s son and Parks was her fiancé.
The other teenagers on the plane were identified as Noah Lee Styron, 15, Michael Daily Shepard, 15 and Jacob Nolan Taylor, 16.
Also among those believed to have been on the flight was Ernest Durwood Rawls, 67, who the sheriff’s office said had been piloting the plane.
Jeffrey Worthington Rawls, 28, was also believed to have been on the flight, according to authorities.
The Carteret County Public School System said in a statement Tuesday that the incident had impacted a number of its schools.
“It has been confirmed that four students from East Carteret High School are among those who passed away in the crash,” the statement said. “School counselors, school psychologists, and school crisis team members have responded from across the school system to serve and support the students, staff, and families in the impacted schools.”
“The Carteret County Public System continues to express its deepest concern, support and sympathy for those involved and affected by this tragic event,” it said.
The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the incident.
Julie Goldstein contributed.