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Passenger on plane that crashed near Oceano is identified

Members of the Sheriff's Office's dive team search Friday, Jan. 17, for the plane that crashed off the coast of Oceano.
Members of the Sheriff's Office's dive team search Friday, Jan. 17, for the plane that crashed off the coast of Oceano.

Authorities have identified the second person aboard an aircraft that crashed off the coast of Oceano on Jan. 14.

The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office has reason to believe the passenger of the single-engine, two-seat Morrisey 2150 that crashed about a mile from the Pier Avenue ramp to be Alan George Gaynor, 52, of Los Angeles.

The Sheriff’s Office previously named the pilot as David Brian Casey, 63, of Friday Harbor, Wash.

However, authorities cannot be certain of both identities because no bodies had been discovered as of Wednesday afternoon. The search-and-recovery operation by the Sheriff’s Dive Team and Marine Enforcement Unit was suspended Friday because of large swells that have created a dangerous situation for divers in the waters about 70 feet deep.

In a news release Wednesday, the Sheriff’s Office said those conditions are expected to last through Friday, when Sheriff Ian Parkinson will re-evaluate the situation.

The office is continuing to work with State Parks on a ground search for plane debris along the coastline from Grover Beach to Guadalupe.

“The Sheriff’s Office is in contact with the families of both the pilot and passenger and our deepest concerns remain with them,” the release reads. “It is the sheriff’s desire to do whatever is reasonable to continue recovery efforts based on the mission’s probability of success as well as the safety of the divers.”

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