A small plane crashed in the Chesapeake Bay Sunday and authorities were searching late into the night for a female passenger, the Maryland state police said.

Police said the plane crashed within three miles of Smith Island. The pilot, who was later found on the island, said he had swum to shore, the police said. He was taken to a hospital with injuries that were not believed life-threatening, police said.

Police said the pilot told them his elderly mother had been on the single engine plane with him. According to the state police, he said they both got out before the plane sank but that she died while they were in the water.

Maryland natural resources police were continuing to search for the woman late Sunday, state police said. Smith Island is off the Eastern Shore, about 80 miles southeast of Washington.

Few additional details were available immediately.