Two men rescued after small plane crashes near Turks and Caicos, authorities say

After three hours of searching, the U.S. Coast Guard rescued two men in the waters near the Turks and Caicos Islands after their plane crashed on Saturday, officials said.

Shortly after midday, air traffic controllers on the Caribbean islands received a report of a plane crashing in the ocean about 10 miles from Northwest Point, Providenciales, which is part of the Turks and Caicos archipelago, said a spokesperson for the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force.

With two people aboard, the plane departed from the United States when it experienced an engine failure.

Police believe the plane departed from Palm Beach County. It’s unclear where exactly the plane departed from.

An “intensive sea search” began around Providenciales, which included several government agencies on the islands.

A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter was sent from the Bahamas to aid in the search of the Cessna-type plane and the two aboard, Petty Officer Eric Rodriguez said.

Around 3:30 p.m., the Coast Guard helicopter rescued the two men after three hours of searching. The men were taken ashore.

“I wish to express my profound gratitude and acknowledge the invaluable support of our national and international partners,” said Acting Assistant Commissioner of Police Mat Newton.

Miami Herald reporter Jacqueline Charles contributed to this report.

This is a developing story.