FAA: Small plane crashes in Gulf of Mexico after leaving Venice

The flight took off from Venice, according to authorities. An active search is underway.

VENICE, Fla. — The body of a child was located by divers from the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office of a small plane that crashed into the Gulf of Mexico shortly after taking off from the Venice Airport, authorities say.

The plane, a Piper Cherokee, was found shortly after 2 p.m. Sunday by air assets about one-third of a mile west offshore and directly west of the Venice Municipal Airport. 

At around 10 a.m. Sunday, the City of Venice says that boaters found a dead woman’s body floating in the Gulf about two and a half miles west of Venice Beach. She has been confirmed as someone who was also in the plane when it crashed, official say.  

Authorities say they believe a male pilot or passenger was also in the place during the crash, but his body has not yet been found with the wreckage of the plane. 

The FAA said a single-engine Piper PA-28 took off around 7:30 p.m. Saturday from the Venice Municipal Airport and crashed into the Gulf of Mexico shortly after take off. 

The FAA said its agency and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will investigate the crash. The NTSB will be in charge of the investigation and will provide any updates. The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office, U.S. Coast Guard, Sarasota Police Department, FWC and the District 12 Medical Examiner’s Office are assisting with the search and crash scene. 

The City of Venice says the search effort will continue until around 5:35 p.m. Sunday and will resume as conditions allow.

This is a developing story. Check back with 10 Tampa Bay for more details. 

Correction: The FAA originally stated the crash happened around 11:30 a.m. Sunday. The agency has since sent a corrected time. 

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