GOLETA (CBSLA) — The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department has taken over search and rescue efforts for a missing pilot after a small plane was reported to have crashed into the ocean off Goleta Beach.

(credit: Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office)

The Sunday morning crash was reported to have happened about two miles off of Campus Point, shortly after taking off from Santa Barbara Airport. Officials initially said they were searching for four people in the water.

Authorities now say they are searching for a Cessna 182 Skyline and its solo occupant, 61-year-old Deborah Nicholson from the Lake Tahoe area.

The U.S. Coast Guard suspended their search and rescue efforts for the plane Monday, and passed command to the sheriff’s office for a missing person investigation. A requested dive team from Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Special Enforcement Bureau also arrived Monday with their Ocean Rescue boat and divers capable of dives to depths of 300 feet of sea water to assist with the search.

Authorities did not say what may have caused the plane to go down.

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