updated 12/19/2005 12:41:25 AM ET 2005-12-19T05:41:25

A small plane crashed off the Florida coast Sunday leaving at least one person dead, and the Coast Guard was searching for two missing passengers, authorities said.

The Cessna 195 was near St. Augustine in northeast Florida when it crashed around 1:30 p.m., Coast Guard Petty Officer Donnie Brzuska said. The cause of the crash was under investigation.

Missing were pilot Gary Tillman, 43, and his daughter, Hanna Tillman, 16, both of Rome, Ga., said sheriff’s Sgt. Charles Mulligan.

Anna Kipp, 16, of Rome, Ga., was taken to a local hospital where she was pronounced dead, Mulligan said. Rachel Hestetler, 16, was found in the water and is listed in good condition, authorities said.

The plane had left Craig Field in Jacksonville and was headed south to Fort Pierce when the plane went down, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

Gary Tillman reported that the plane was in distress and unable to maintain altitude shortly after 1 p.m. A short time later the tower lost contact with the aircraft, Mulligan said.

Rain, strong winds and 7- to 10-foot seas made the search difficult Sunday.

Brzuska said the storm prevented the Coast Guard from keeping a helicopter and motor lifeboat involved in the search. An 87-foot cutter was sent in to assist, Brzuska said.

The plane was registered to Tillman.

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