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Jun 8, 2018 5:26 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

UPDATE: Majority Of Krupinski Plane Has Been Removed As Search For Final Victim Continues

Jun 12, 2018 9:22 AM

UPDATE: MONDAY, 5:30 p.m.

Dive teams working with East Hampton Town Police and Marine Patrol will return to the Krupinski plane wreckage zone on Tuesday to resume their search for the fourth and final victim of last week's crash.

East Hampton Town Police Chief Michael Sarlo said that dive teams had suspended their search on Sunday and Monday for a variety of reasons, which he did not detail, after the bulk of the plane wreckage had been recovered from the sea floor, but would resume making dives on Tuesday to search the bottom in the area where the Piper Navajo, a six-to-eight-seat twin-propeller plane, crashed barely a mile off Atlantic Beach in Amagansett on June 2.

After days of being delayed by bad weather and two days of scanning the ocean floor with special sonar, Town Marine Patrol boats located the wreckage on Thursday afternoon, even as friends and family of Ben and Bonnie Krupinski and William Maerov, who had been aboard the plane with pilot John Dollard, attended their wake in East Hampton.

The bodies of the Krupinskis had been recovered the day of the crash and with the discovery of the main hulk of the plane had been the hope that the other two bodies would be discovered.

Divers quickly located and removed the body of a third person on Friday but had still not found the fourth victim after hours more searching throughout the day on Saturday.

Chief Sarlo said that the "majority" of the wreckage was also raised from the bottom on Friday and Saturday by salvage crews and taken to a secure location.

The Suffolk County Medical Examiner's office has not yet released the identity of the body recovered on Friday.

The families of the Krupinskis and Mr. Maerov have asked that anyone who finds any debris in the ocean or on the beaches notify the East Hampton Town Police immediately.

ORIGINAL STORY:

The wreckage of a Piper PA31 Navajo twin-engine plane that crashed into the ocean off East Hampton last Saturday afternoon, June 2, has been located and an additional victim’s body has been found, according to the East Hampton Town police chief.

Chief Michael Sarlo said in a statement issued shortly after 5 p.m. on Friday that the wreckage was discovered on Thursday afternoon approximately one mile off Atlantic Avenue Beach after an exhaustive search over the past week. He said police divers have been scouring the wreckage.

The victim who was recently located among the debris—one of four people who were aboard the plane—is being brought to the U.S. Coast Guard Station Montauk and then transfered to the Suffolk County medical examiner’s office. Chief Sarlo said the identity of the victim is being withheld pending investigation by the medical examiner’s office.

As of Thursday afternoon, the medical examiner’s office positively identified the two victims recovered last Saturday as Bernard and Bonnie Krupinski, both 70, of East Hampton, Chief Sarlo said, and their bodies were subsequently released to the family.

Also aboard the plane were the Krupinskis’ grandson, William Maerov, 22, and pilot Jon Dollard, 47, of Hampton Bays.

The plane had left Newport State Airport in Rhode Island at approximately 2 p.m. on Saturday, according to a representative from the airport. The crash was reported at 2:50 p.m. about a mile off Indian Wells Beach in Amagansett.

Chief Sarlo said the plane was in water that is about 40 to 45 feet deep, and visibility was only about 3 to 5 feet. “Police divers continue their efforts to locate the remaining victim,” he said, also noting that Sea Tow will remain on scene and continue to aid in salvaging the plane wreckage.

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Thank God another victim has been located. May they all RIP...
By MelissaA (34), Sag Harbor on Jun 8, 18 5:41 PM
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