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Body Recovered from Plane Wreckage in Lake Superior

Updated: 06/09/2014 11:06 PM
Created: 06/09/2014 9:21 PM WDIO.com
By: Travis Dill
tdill@wdio.com

Divers have recovered the body of a pilot whose single-engine plane crashed into Lake Superior on Saturday.

St. Louis County Volunteer Rescue Squad Capt. Tom Crossmon said two commercial divers capable of reaching the wreckage nearly 140 feet underwater joined the Superior-Douglas County Dive Team on Monday.

Crews pulled into the McQuade Public Access and Small Craft Harbor north of Duluth around 8 p.m. and passed the remains to medical examiners.

Crossmon said there were some difficulties removing the pilot from the wreckage.

“He was entangled in the wreck and that caused problems getting him untangled from the wreckage. As you'll see we're hoping early next week we'll be able to bring the plane up. That was part of the plan today, and time just didn't allow for it to happen today. Getting the pilot up was the most critical thing we were going to do today, and we accomplished that," Crossmon said.

He said winds picked up throughout the day causing movement of the rescue boats. After 12 hours on the water the team gave up on bringing the wreckage to the surface. However, Crossmon said divers were able to leave lines and airbags in position to make the process easier when they continue the recovery operation.

The single-engine plane crashed shortly after take off from the Duluth International Airport on Saturday. Searchers in boats found a log book in debris about a mile offshore of Brighton Beach, and crews used sonar equipment to locate the wreckage Saturday night.

The St. Louis County Volunteer Rescue Squad has not released the pilot's name, but expects to identify him Tuesday afternoon.

Click here for or more coverage and details of the plane crash.

(Copyright 2014 WDIO-TV, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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