SAN PEDRO (CBSLA.com) — The U.S. Coast Guard suspended search and rescue efforts Saturday for three people who traveled in two planes that collided mid-air near the Port of Los Angeles.
Two 87-foot patrol boats to conduct search patterns throughout the night until 9:15 a.m., Coast Guard officials said.
“The rescue operation has transitioned to a recovery operation with the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department as the lead agency,” the department said in a press release. “The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department plans to conduct diving and sonar operations to locate wreckage.”
The Coast Guard safety zone surrounding all recovery operations will remain in effect until further notice.
Traffic that normally transitions through the Angeles Gate should re-route to enter and depart through the Queens Gate entrance, officials said.
A fisherman reported the incident around 3:30 p.m. on Friday when the two planes went down near the Angeles Gate Lighthouse, which is located near the San Pedro breakwater and Cabrillo Beach.
According to the U.S. Coastguard, two adult men aged 61 and 81 traveled in one plane. A 72-year-old woman was piloting the second aircraft.
Both small planes flew out of the Torrance Airport and collided near the Point Fermin Lighthouse.
CBS2’s Greg Mills identified the woman as Mary Fallstrom.
On Saturday, Mills spoke to Fallstrom’s husband, Rich Fallstrom.
“She just said yesterday it’s too pretty a day, I gotta go out to fly,” said Fallstrom. “And that was the last time I saw her. She loved to fly.”
At this time, authorities have recovered some debris from the plane and a pilot’s log book, which will help to identify the passengers.
While radar has helped officials to determine where the planes collided, the cause of the crash remains unclear.
On Saturday evening, the LA Sheriff’s Department announced it was taking over the recovery operation for the victims and aircraft.
The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the incident.