Latest on military helicopter crash on Florida panhandle: search for survivors …

12 Mar 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Dense fog delays search for 11 killed in Black Hawk crash off Florida’s Panhandle.

NAVARRE, Fla. (AP) — More heavy fog, rain and rough surf complicated Thursday’s efforts to collect the remains of seven Marines and four soldiers whose Black Hawk helicopter crashed offshore while they trained in Florida.

PORT WASHINGTON, Wis. (AP) — A relative says one of the military members killed in a helicopter crash during a training exercise along the Florida Panhandle has roots in Wisconsin. Coast Guard boat searches March 11, 2015, a downed Army helicopter in the Intercostal Waterway northeast of Navarre Beach, Fla.(Photo: Tony Giberson, Pensacola (Fla.) News Journal) NAVARRE BEACH, Fla.

The same fog and crashing Gulf waves surrounded a pier where a large gathering held vigil Wednesday night, creating a somber backdrop to the songs, tears and prayers of people with strong ties to the military and the sprawling Eglin Air Force Base. Waraksa says her brother-in-law was a “proud Marine, a loving husband and most wonderful father.” She says her sister and Kemp have a child about 1 year old.

CT Tuesday as the area was under a fog advisory. “The conditions out there were very, very dense,” Giuliano said of the night the helicopter went down and rescue boats were called out. “The boats that did get out there could not see.” On Thursday, officials at Eglin, about 50 miles east of Pensacola confirmed casualties but did not say how many bodies had been recovered overnight. Jack Cullen, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Mobile, Alabama, said Thursday’s dense sea fog could persist through Friday, which is common when warm southern air meets cold water this time of year.

The helicopter that crashed had a veteran crew from Hammond, Louisiana, that served multiple tours in Iraq and helped humanitarian missions after Gulf Coast hurricanes and the BP oil spill. Like the Army’s Green Berets and the Navy’s SEALs, they were highly trained to endure grueling conditions and sensitive assignments on land and at sea, from seizing ships to special reconnaissance missions and direct action inside hostile territory. Tuesday night’s training involved practicing “insertion and extraction missions,” using small boats and helicopters to get troops into and out of a target site, said Capt.

Military officials said search crews were focused on a 6-mile stretch of the sound. “It sounded like something metal either being hit or falling over, that’s what it sounded like. And there were two booms afterward, similar to what you hear with ordnance booms, but more muffled,” Urr said. “We saw gloves, a uniform with a last name on it,” said Alan Collinsworth, a hotel desk clerk.

On Aug. 6, 2011, 30 American troops and eight Afghans died after the Taliban shot down a a CH-47 Chinook helicopter crash in Wardak province, west of Kabul. Baldor in Washington; Jason Dearen in Gainesville, Florida; Freida Frisaro in Miami; Kevin McGill and Stacey Plaisance in Hammond, Louisiana; and Emery P.

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