Police divers continue search for missing pilot

Family photo (North Wales Police)

Police divers have taken over the search for Professor David Last – the pilot of a light plane which disappeared off the east coast of Anglesey.

The Coastguard has now called off its search for the light aircraft, which lost radar contact near Puffin Island on Monday lunchtime. Only the pilot was on board at the time.

Underwater search teams are continuing to search the Penmon area and an air accident investigation is continuing.

Chief Inspector Essi Ahari from North Wales Police said: ”Specialist officers from our Underwater Search Team are currently carrying out a detailed search of the area, and the family of Professor Last continue to be supported by family liaison officers.”

Professor Last, a retired ex-Bangor University lecturer, was described by his family as ”a much loved father, husband, brother, grandfather, uncle and friend.”

The Royal Institute of Navigation, where Mr Last was a former president, said: ”He was globally respected in the positioning, navigation and timing communities…as recently as last week, he was taking an active role in the institute’s International Navigation Conference in Edinburgh: a gentle driving force with a great intellect.”

North Wales Police (@NWPAnglesey)

For two days, the Coastguard led a major search and rescue operation involving helicopter crews, rescue teams and three lifeboats from Moelfre, Beaumaris and Llandudno.

A spokesperson for the RNLI at Moelfre said it had been a ”difficult couple of days” for the volunteer crew, adding: ”All our thoughts and prayers are with Mr Last’s family at this very difficult time.”

A team from the Air Accident Investigation Branch is still in the area, assisting police with their investigation.

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