Sea search for man missing off A. Samoa is suspended


PAGO PAGO, American Samoa—The U.S. Coast Guard suspended the search Saturday for 58-year-old Babar Suleman who went missing during a plane crash near Pago Pago on Tuesday night.

“The decision to suspend a search and rescue case is one of the most difficult decisions I have to make,” said Rear Adm. Cari Thomas, commander, 14th Coast Guard District. “I want to extend my sincere condolences to the family and friends of the Sulemans. After conducting an exhaustive search with our partner agencies in American Samoa and crisscrossing more than 4,000 miles from the air and surface of the ocean and finding no sign of Mr. Suleman, I have made the decision to suspend the active search.”

The Coast Guard search consisted of an HC-130 Hercules airplane crew from Air Station Barbers Point, members of the Coast Guard Auxiliary, the American Samoa Marine Patrol, American Samoa Department of Marine and Wildlife Resources, and tug Sa’ilele.

The cumulative amount of area searched is 4,874 square nautical miles. Coast Guard and partner agency assets have been searching for a total of 70 hours. (USCG)

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