Fog Delays Recovery in Military Helicopter Crash Off Fla. Coast

13 Mar 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Fog delays recovery in military helicopter crash.

Grieving families and comrades of 11 soldiers and Marines whose Black Hawk helicopter slammed into the water during a training exercise can only wait until the dense fog clears and rough seas calm enough for their bodies to be recovered from the wreckage, which settled in just 25 feet of water. — Divers have found the military helicopter that crashed in dense fog during a Florida training mission, killing seven elite Marines and four experienced soldiers. 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.

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. 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 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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