Local News

Sea Search Ends

Posted Updated
Crash site
ELIZABETH CITY — Coast Guard crews and the Navy havecalled off their search of the waters off North Carolina for a Seahawkhelicopter and its crew of four.

Crew members of the missing helicopter were identified as pilots Lt.Commander Joseph F. King of Orange Park, Fla., and Lt. Christopher D.Buckley of Hampton, N.Y.; and aircrewmen Chief Petty Officer Andrew K.Baker of Middleburg, Fla. and second class Petty Officer Edward J. Kos ofJacksonville, Fla.

The HH-60H Seahawk crashed Thursday night about 23miles southeast of Cape Hatteras during a refuelingexercise with the frigate USS Jesse L. Taylor, based in Mayport. Fla.

Lt. Karen Brown of the Coast Guard said sometimes they heard a signal,then it would disappear.

"On-scene commanders have praised the heroic efforts of Navy and coastguard rescue personnel whoconducted search and rescue operations in extremely rough seas and undervery hazardous conditions," C. Patrick Dooling, public affairs officer atthe Naval Air Station in Jacksonville, Fla., said.

The crash occurred as the aircraft made a single pass across the sternof the frigate Taylor, preparing to land on its stern helicopter platform,the Pilot and Ledger Star of Norfolk, Va. reported.

At the time of the accident, winds were 30 to 35 mph and seas wereabout 5 feet in the area, The National Weather Service said. Friday'srough weather continued to hamper search efforts. Ships usedspotlights to comb the area Friday night.

The helicopter had been based on the aircraft carrier USS John F.Kennedy.

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