Plane that went down near the Keys drifts toward SWFL, likely to stay in ocean

A downed plane is drifting in the Gulf toward Southwest Florida. The U.S. Navy sent us a picture and said the aircraft went down near the Florida Keys more than a week ago.

The U.S. Coast Guard says a downed plane is floating toward Marco Island Thursday, and it’s likely going to stay in the water.

The owner of the plane told us two people who went down in the plane were not hurt. He calls the plane “the wandering child” because it’s drifting.

But, once it sinks, the plane will likely become a reef.

“I’m surprised it’s still floating that long,” said Sara Attalla on Marco Island.

More than a week after the plane crashed near the Keys and Naval Air Station Key West saved the people inside, it’s still floating toward Southwest Florida.

“Shouldn’t they take it?” said Farah Boules on Marco Island.

Marco Island beachgoers were surprised to hear the plane was still in the water.

“If they took it out, where would they put it? A junkyard?” Attalla said.

Sea Tow Marco Island told us it could have taken the plane out of the water, but the owners did not want to pay to get it removed.

“I just think it’s not right,” Boules said. “It doesn’t belong there. It’s just like throwing trash into the ocean.”

“I think they should take it off because it’s ruining the habitats for the fish,” Attalla said. “They aren’t used to the engines, the electricity.”

“Ships sink; they just leave it there, and they don’t pick it up,” Attalla said. “So I don’t think it’s dangerous or different. It’s the same thing.”

Sean Beam on Marco Island doesn’t think anything bad will come of the eventual sunken plane.

“I don’t see a problem with it as long as they do their due diligence to remove all of the contaminates from the plane itself,” Sean Beam said. “Let it go. Why not? Ya know, we could use another man-made reef.”

The plane’s owner told me it should be safe to sink to the bottom to become a reef because there was no fuel or oil on board.

SeaTow has tried to sink the plane, but so far it hasn’t. The company says it will continue to monitor it.

Reporter:Taylor Smith
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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