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Tributes To Couple Killed in Plane Crash

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8:50am 5th September 2013
(Updated 8:50am 5th September 2013)

A couple killed when their Perranporth plane ditched into the sea off Jersey were due back in Cornwall just hours later.

Businessman Carl Whiteley and wife Kathryn were flying from France to the channel islands when their Cessna went down.

It is understood that the couple from Derby had had a house in Newquay.

Their light aircraft had left Cornwall, bound for the Midlands, earlier in the week.

Brett Hannon, Managing Director of Belmont Regency Group Ltd where Carl Whiteley worked said: "Belmont Regency Group Ltd are dismayed to hear of the death of one of our founding directors, Carl Whiteley and his wife Kathryn Whiteley when the plane he was piloting crashed into the English Channel on a flight from  Northern France to Jersey this morning, Wednesday 4th September 2013, on his way back home.

"Our thoughts are with his family at this tragic time.

"Carl jointly founded the company in 1982 with myself and apart from being business partners for over 31 years, Carl was a close friend who will be greatly missed. The fondest memories will remain with myself and our staff of our dear departed colleague."

Lifeboats, navy ships and helicopters carried out a big search operation on Wednesday morning.

Alan Donald from the Port of Jersey Authority said: "It's too early at this stage to specualte on the causes of the incident other than to say a search and rescue has taken place in the area, approximately five miles to the west of Jersey Airport.

In a statement, Jersey Police said: "Following a comprehensive search and rescue mission by the RNLI, Fire & Rescue Service, Channel Island Air Search and assisted by private boats and HMS Northumberland we now believe there were no survivors of this morning's light aircraft crash.
 
"The States of Jersey Police will now be working alongside the Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB) to establish what happened.
 
"We have yet to formally identify the people on board but believe them to be two UK residents. Family Liaison Officers from Jersey are supporting the family of those we believe to be involved. We ask that those families are given privacy."

Jersey's Chief Minister has released this statement:

"On behalf of the Council of Ministers and the States Assembly, I would like to extend our condolences to the families of the two people who died today when a light aircraft crashed off the west coast of Jersey. We were deeply saddened to learn of the accident.

"I would like to thank all those who took part in the search and rescue operation, which was coordinated by Jersey Coastguard and involved all the emergency services.
 
"The search effort included C.I. Airsearch, the St Helier, St Catherine and Fire Service lifeboats, the harbour pilot boat, a French and a British search and rescue helicopter and HMS Northumberland, a type 23 frigate which was training in the area. The Manche Iles Express passenger ferry, Marin Marie, was diverted to take part and a number of private boats also helped.
 
"Jersey Airport controlled the flow of aircraft movements during the search and the ambulance service and hospital were on major incident standby.

"It was a difficult search operation in reduced visibility and our thoughts are with all those affected by this tragic incident."

8:50am 5th September 2013

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