3 missing after Navy contract plane crashes off Southern California coast

A search is underway for three people who were aboard a Navy contract aircraft that crashed in the Pacific Ocean off Southern California on Wednesday morning, officials said.


The Learjet crash was first reported a little before 8 a.m. PT, about a mile southwest of San Clemente Island, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.


A Coast Guard spokesperson confirmed to CBS News that the crash involved a Navy contract plane that had taken off from Point Mugu, which is part of Naval Base Ventura County, located about 60 miles northwest of Los Angeles.

The National Transportation Safety Board confirmed in a tweet Wednesday night that it was investigating the crash of the Gates Learjet 36A. The names of the three missing people or details on their relationship to the Navy were not immediately released.

An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter takes off from U.S. Coast Guard Air Station San Diego to take part in search efforts for three people after a Learjet crashed near San Clemente Island. May 10, 2023.


San Clemente Island, which is owned by the U.S. Navy, is about 80 miles west of San Diego.

The details of the crash were unclear. According to the Coast Guard, the initial report from the Navy’s Fleet Area Control and Surveillance Facility, which conducts offshore air traffic control, was of an aircraft emergency aboard the Learjet, and that the aircraft was unable to make it back to San Clemente Island’s runway.


Along with the Coast Guard and Navy, U.S. Customs and Border Protection were also involved in search efforts.

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