Authorities find backpack of missing pilot on Martin County Beach, search for aircraft continues

The backpack of a missing pilot of a plane that went missing while traveling from Marathon to Vero Beach has been found, says Lieutenant Tyler Lahnen, spokesman for Civil Air Patrol.

The backpack, with identification inside, was found this morning around 7:30 a.m. near the 2300 block of North East Ocean Boulevard, three miles north of the mouth of the St. Lucie River, says Lahnen.

The identification found by officials confirms the pilot is a male from the United Kingdom who was traveling abroad, flying on a vacation to the United States. He leased the plane from a plane leasing company on the Treasure Coast,  Lahnen says.

The pilot was the only person on the aircraft, says Lahnen.

An aircraft tire was also found by officials.

Civil Air Patrol and the Martin County Sheriff's Office are currently continuing their search for the missing plane.

The Miami Coast Guard, with the help of The Civil Air Patrol, Air Force Auxiliary and The Martin County Sheriff's Office, started search efforts on Saturday for a plane that has been missing since Friday, according to the sheriff's office.

The Florida Wing, Civil Air Patrol says they are searching for a Piper PA-28 single engine aircraft that is white, with red stripes, left Marathon heading toward Vero Beach. Officials say the plane was reported overdue after failing to reach its destination.

Authorities searched the area of Stuart and the St. Lucie Inlet Saturday, but the Sheriff's Office suspended the search because of foggy weather.

Anyone with information about the aircraft's location is asked to contact the Martin County Sheriff's Office at 772-220-7170.

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