Retired Riviera Beach division fire chief killed in plane crash off Florida Keys

Small plane crashes about 1 mile off Marathon

MARATHON, Fla. – A retired firefighter from Jupiter is dead after crashing his plane into the Gulf of Mexico off the Florida Keys early Monday morning. 

The crash was reported near Marathon shortly after midnight.

Monroe County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Becky Herrin said Edward Elgin, 53, was the only passenger on board the single-engine Piper plane when it crashed about a mile offshore of 63rd Street.

A man who called 911 said he heard the crash, so he got on his boat and saw debris from the plane.

When the U.S. Coast Guard and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission arrived at the scene, they found the plane fully submerged. 

Riviera Beach Mayor Thomas Masters said Elgin retired about a year and a half ago from the Riviera Beach Fire-Rescue Department, where he served as a division chief. Masters said flags are being flown at half-staff in Elgin's honor.

Elgin's family said he was in the Florida Keys for lobster season.

Herrin said the Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the crash.

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