Search for bodies ends after Army chopper crash off Florida kills 11

13 Mar 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Helicopter recorder found off Fla. shore; ‘high-impact’ crash killed 11 in U.S. military.

The US military helicopter that crashed off the coast of Florida on Tuesday night has been found and the Coast Guard has called off the search for the 11 missing soldiers and Marines that were aboard the aircraft, the New York Times reported.

The helicopter was carrying seven Marines and four soldiers from the Louisiana National Guard on a training mission when it vanished around 8:30 pm on Tuesday. With the discovery of the copter’s shattered core, which has been inspected by divers, the response officially changed from search-and-rescue to search-and-recovery, Col.

Monte Cannon, vice-commander of the 96th Test Wing, said at Eglin Air Force Base. “Very, very, very dense fog” still complicates recovery efforts, Giuliano added. There’s almost no visibility at the crash site, and search crews in boats are moving as slowly as they can in the rough surf to avoid running into each other or wreckage from the crash, he said. One of the Marines killed was Kerry Kemp, who was based at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, said his sister-in-law, Lora Waraksa of Port Washington, Wisconsin. Pieces of clothing and bits of the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter have washed ashore, and homeowners have contacted the military to pick it up, he said. “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 the vigil. 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.

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.

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