Police Still Looking for Two Victims Missing After Krupinski Plane Crash

Police searched the shoreline Sunday for two missing victims and parts of the wreckage of a small plane that crashed in the ocean, killing four people. Durell Godfrey

With the Coast Guard suspending its search for two missing people and the wreckage of a plane that crashed in the ocean off Amagansett on Saturday, the East Hampton Town Police Department now says a recovery effort is underway. 

The twin-engine Piper PA Navajo crashed about a mile and a half off Indian Wells Beach on Saturday around 2:50 p.m. The plane had taken off from Newport, R.I., and was headed for East Hampton Airport when it encountered a storm.

Four people were on board: Ben Krupinski and his wife, Bonnie Krupinski, a well-known couple who gave generously to the greater East Hampton community and to many charitable organizations, their 22-year-old grandson, William Maerov, and the plane's pilot, Jon Dollard. 

Two bodies were found on Saturday afternoon. Police have not said which bodies are still missing.

"We are monitoring the weather and have prepared all assets to return to the water as soon as conditions allow," Police Chief Michael Sarlo said on Monday morning.

The Coast Guard suspended its search by land and sea because of deteriorating sea conditions on Sunday afternoon. A spokesman said on Monday morning they would resume only if anything new comes to light. Police patrols on the shoreline have continued despite the weather. 

Two East Hampton Town Marine Patrol vessels and the East End Marine Law Enforcement Task Force vessel, all equipped with side-scan sonar, are ready to return to the search area,  Chief Sarlo said.

Police dive teams from the East Hampton Town police, Southampton Town police, and New York State police are available should wreckage be located. Sea Tow, which has commercial salvage equipment and divers, will be brought in for any salvage recovery efforts. The Coast Guard will assist from the air. Police are coordinating "recovery scenarios," Chief Sarlo said.

In the meantime, the Police Department has asked that commercial fishing vessels refrain from dragging or deploying lines in the general search area. 

The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the cause of the crash. The Suffolk County medical examiner's office will continue investigating the cause of death of the victims.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of all those involved in this tragic accident," Chief Sarlo said.