Apparent airplane debris found off coast of Bahamas

Posted at 8:30 PM, May 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-16 20:30:44-04

The US Coast Guard is searching for survivors after finding what is believed to be airplane debris 15 miles east of an island in the Bahamas on Tuesday.

The Coast Guard had been searching for an airplane with four Americans aboard that was reported missing Monday.

On board were Jennifer Blumin, 40, from New York City, Nathan Ulrich, 52, from Lee, New Hampshire, and Blumin’s 3-year-old and 4-year-old sons.

The wreckage “appears to be airplane debris,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class Eric Woodall, spokesperson for the US Coast Guard District 7.

It was spotted about 15 miles east of Eleuthera, Bahamas, by a helicopter crew. A rescue swimmer retrieved some materials to take ashore for identification.

The MU-2B airplane departed Borinquen, Puerto Rico, at about 11:00 a.m. Monday and became overdue after failing to arrive in Titusville, Florida. Air Traffic Control in Miami reported losing radar and radio contact from an MU-2B about 37 miles east of Eleuthera at 2:10 p.m. Communication was reported lost at 24,000 feet with a speed of 300 knots, the Coast Guard said.

The Coast Guard tweeted a photo of the missing plane.

Missing woman specializes in fashion industry

Blumin is founder and CEO of Skylight Group, which provides event space around New York City, specializing in the fashion industry, CNN affiliate TV station WABC in New York reported.

Skylight Studios has designed sets for clients like Ralph Lauren and Kanye West. Blumin is known for transforming derelict old buildings into “dazzling event spaces,” according to the New York Daily News.

The company confirmed she and members of her family were on the plane in a statement.

“Her family is working with investigators and we politely ask that you respect their privacy at this time,” said Lt. Cmdr. Ryan Kelley, a Coast Guard spokesman.

Man was listed as pilot

WABC reported Ulrich was listed as the pilot, but it was not known who was flying it at the time, Kelly said. Blumin owned the plane through a consulting company, according to New York State and aviation records.

Actress Rae Dawn Chong, of “The Color Purple” and “Commando,” tweeted that she and Ulrich were previously married.

Her tweet said, “My ex-hubby’s (Nathan Ulrich) plane is missing over the Bermuda Triangle. I am sad and in shock. So send prayers to his family. Thanks.”

Ulrich is a co-founder of Xootr, a New York-based company that manufactures scooters and folding bicycles. He is also listed online as a technical director and race car designer for Radon Sport.