All But 2 Bodies Found After US Military Copter Crash

13 Mar 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Breaking: Irish father (34) dies in US helicopter crash.

NAVARRE (CBSMiami/AP) — As families grieve for 11 soldiers and marines whose Black Hawk crashed into the water off Florida, dense fog and rough waters are preventing crews from recovering the wreckage. Crews gather at a boat ramp on Santa Rosa Sound to search waters around the Navarre Bridge following the crash of a military helicopter, east of Pensacola, Florida.

Reuters/Michael Spooneybarger Liam Flynn (34), a US marine from Clane, Co Kildare, died in a crash involving an Army Black Hawk helicopter that crashed off Florida’s Gulf Coast on Tuesday night (local time). There’s almost no visibility at the spot where the wreckage was found, forcing search crews to move slowly to avoid colliding with each other, and the surf is too rough to pull the wreckage to the surface.

He was a “proud Marine, a loving husband and most wonderful father,” with a child about to turn 1, said her sister, Lora Waraksa of Port Washington, Wisconsin. A memorial mass is scheduled to take place in Clane parish church at 11.30am on Sunday, while his funeral will take place in the US at a later date. “His family are very well respected and well known in the Clane area. Curtis, adjutant general of the Louisiana Army National Guard, which flew the helicopter carrying the Marines Special Operations Command forces from Camp Lejeune, N.C. The local community have been a great support to the family over the last few days.” They were conducting training involving “helicopter and boat insertion and extraction” with an experienced Army air crew providing the helicopter support, a Marine Corps spokesman said.

The tragedy struck hard in the beach towns near the Eglin Air Force Base and Pensacola Naval Air Station, where families often come to relax between difficult deployments. “My heart is really hurt right now knowing these people were here just on training — knowing they went and left their family members and did not give that goodbye, you know, because they weren’t going off to war,” a tearful Dolly Edwards, herself the wife of a Marine, said at a community vigil Wednesday night. The National Guard soldiers, from Hammond, Louisiana, each did two tours in Iraq, and joined in humanitarian missions after Gulf Coast hurricanes and the BP oil spill. The bad news has arrived in stages to Hammond, where a chilly drizzle and flags at half-staff cast a dark tone on the town, also home to Southeastern Louisiana University. A woman at a campground nearby, Kim Urr, said she heard a metallic sound and then two muffled explosions as it disappeared into the narrow waterway separating Santa Rosa Island from the Florida panhandle mainland.

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