East Hampton Town police have released the identities of the four people who were on a private plane that crashed into the Atlantic Ocean off Amagansett on June 2.
Bernard “Ben” Krupinski, 70; his wife, Bonnie Krupinski, 70, their grandson, William Maerov, 22, all of East Hampton, and the pilot of the plane, Jon Dollard, 47, of Hampton Bays, are presumed dead.
Police said two bodies had been recovered from the crash scene, but that their identities were being withheld pending identification by the Suffolk County Medical Examiner’s office.
The plane, a twin-engine Piper 31 PA Navajo, went down about a mile and a half off Indian Wells Beach in Amagansett during a brief, but intense rain squall.
The Federal Aviation Administration said it lost contact with the plane, which was headed toward East Hampton Airport, at 2:37 PM, but provided no additional information.
The Krupinskis owned numerous businesses and commercial properties on the East End, including East Hampton Point, the 1770 House, and Cittanuova. Krupinski was also the owner of Ben Krupinski Builders and had been called the “Contractor to the Stars” in an article that appeared in The New York Times in 1993. Bonnie Krupinski was a member of Amagansett’s Bistrian family. The couple were equally known for their philanthropic efforts, often anonymous, on the East End.
“It was really bad,” Lt. Alaina Fagan of the U.S. Coast Guard said of the weather at the time of the crash. An 87-foot Coast Guard rescue boat, the Bonito, from the Montauk Coast Guard Station and another 87-foot cutter, the Steelhead, out of Rhode Island, were dispatched to the scene, she said.
She said a debris field was found about a mile off the beach, but had since spread. “A lot of assets are being deployed,” she said.
The East Hampton Town police dive team and the marine patrol were on the scene shortly after the crash. An Air National Guard Sikorsky MH 60 Seahawk helicopter and a Coast Guard MH 60 Jayhawk helicopter from Cape Cod also took part in the search. Also helping in the search and rescue effort were numerous small boats, including a number of fishing vessels.
The two Coast Guard rescue boats continued the search overnight Saturday, while the other elements suspended their efforts until daybreak Sunday.
The search effort could be hindered by a somewhat roiling ocean: according to Lt. Fagan, waves are at three to five feet, and a small craft warning is in effect for the area.