Coast Guard suspends search for missing airman who fell from aircraft over Gulf of Mexico

The Special Tactics airman fell out of his aircraft over the Gulf of Mexico.

November 09, 2019, 12:20 PM

The U.S. Coast Guard has suspended its search for the missing Air Force airman who fell from an aircraft over the Gulf of Mexico five days ago, officials said.

The search has now transitioned to a recovery effort and the U.S. Air Force is taking the lead, according to a statement from the Air Force on Friday.

PHOTO: Master Sgt. Marcus Hildebrand and Tech. Sgt. Patrick Englishby, 39th Rescue Squadron loadmasters, scan the waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
Master Sgt. Marcus Hildebrand and Tech. Sgt. Patrick Englishby, 39th Rescue Squadron loadmasters, scan the waters of the Gulf of Mexico from the crew doors of an HC-130P/N Combat King aircraft for any sign of the missing Airman from the 24th Special Operations Wing, Hurlburt Field, Florida on Nov. 6, 2019.
U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Kelly Goonan

“We would like to extend our gratitude to all of the federal, state and local units that have aided in the search for our Airman, especially the U.S. Coast Guard,” U.S. Air Force Col. Matt Allen, commander of the 24th Special Operations Wing, said. “We will continue our recovery effort as long as circumstances and resources allow to bring our Airman home.”

The Special Tactics airman fell from a C-130 aircraft on Tuesday over the Gulf of Mexico during a parachute training exercise. Officials have not yet released his identity, but will do so after the family has been notified.

PHOTO: Tech. Sgt. Brett Corriveau, 39th Rescue Squadron loadmaster, scans the waters of the Gulf of Mexico from the inside of an HC-130P/N Combat King aircraft for any sign of the missing Airman from the 24th Special Operations Wing.
Tech. Sgt. Brett Corriveau, 39th Rescue Squadron loadmaster, scans the waters of the Gulf of Mexico from the inside of an HC-130P/N Combat King aircraft for any sign of the missing Airman from the 24th Special Operations Wing, Hurlburt Field, Florida on Nov. 6, 2019.
U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Kelly Goonan

The Air Force is investigating the incident. It is still unclear what led to the fall and the Air Force did not respond to ABC News for further comment on Saturday.

Recovery teams are adjusting the search area as they move forward in their efforts, but no other details were provided.

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