Two people have been confirmed dead after a plane went down near Marineland in Flagler County, deputies said Friday afternoon.

  • Small plane with at least 2 people aboard crashed in Flagler
  • 2 people have been confirmed dead
  • Plane was coming from Georgia, officials said
  • National Transportation Safety Board investigating

"It's a tragic ending to a search," Staly said during a news conference, adding that one person is confirmed dead and that the search has turned to recovery efforts.

The small, white plane coming from Georgia went down at about 11 p.m. Thursday in the area of Pellicer Creek of Marineland, near the St. Johns County line, according to the Sheriff's Office.

The plane, which was described as "upside down and pretty mangled," was difficult to find because it crashed on the eastern shoreline of the Intracoastal Waterway, Staly said. The wreckage was spotted by a helicopter.

A family reported a missing plane, and Staly said they think the same aircraft that was found. The plane is from Sunrise Aviation, and authorities think one of the crash victims was working with the aviation company. The person's family has been notified.

Heavy equipment will be needed to recover the plane.

A man who lives in Marineland was out flounder fishing with a friend Thursday night and when the pair saw the plane do down.

“It sounded abnormal, it was misfiring and sputtering, and the next thing we know we look at it and it’s falling out of the sky," said Matthew Garrison. “It’s extremely sad to know I watched the last moments of somebody’s life.”

The Coast Guard and five other agencies assisted in the search. The National Transportation Safety Board will take over the investigation.