The Coast Guard Cutter Paul Clark and the Coast Guard Cutter James are currently searching the waters off Palm Beach county for the wreckage of a plane owned by Dr. Ken Simmons. The plane, a Piper Saratoga, took off Friday February 1st at approximately 1 pm from Lantana Airport headed to Marsh Harbour, Bahamas.
Fifteen minutes into the flight, the plane began to experience problems and began to zig-zag back and forth as it gained and lost altitude until it finally crashed into the water 23 miles off the coast of Palm Beach.
Family members have confirmed that Dr. Simmons was piloting the plane and that he was accompanied by his wife Alice and their 2 dogs.
Air Station Miami has authorized planes to conduct aerial search and rescue efforts.
The same plane made an emergency landing at the Lantana airport in 2017, when the landing gear failed and the plane was forced to land on it belly. No one was injured in that incident.
Dr. Simmons graduated from the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine in 1981, and was the founder and original owner of Simmons Animal Hospital, located in Lake Worth FL.