Fog delays recovery in military helicopter crash

13 Mar 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

The Boston Globe.

— Divers have found the wreckage of a military helicopter in 25 feet of water after it crashed in dense fog during a Florida training mission, killing seven elite Marines and four soldiers.

The mission changed from rescue to recovery after divers inspected the shattered core of the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter, said Colonel Monte Cannon, vice commander of the 96th Test Wing at Eglin Air Force Base. 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. Dozens of airmen walked the shores of Santa Rosa Sound Thursday, recovering pieces of clothing and bits of wreckage, but the Coast Guard suspended its search Thursday afternoon and will focus on helping the Army recover the remaining fuselage and debris, it said. 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.

Kemp was a ‘‘proud Marine, a loving husband and most wonderful father,’’ with a child about to turn 1, said his sister-in-law, Lora Waraksa of Port Washington, Wis. The National Guard soldiers, from Hammond, La., each did two tours in Iraq, and joined in humanitarian missions after Gulf Coast hurricanes and the BP oil spill, their commanders said.

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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