U.S. Coast Guard helicopter crashes off Alabama coast

Reuters News
Posted: Feb 29, 2012 1:24 AM

By Kelli Dugan

MOBILE, Alabama (Reuters) - A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter crashed off Alabama's coast in Mobile Bay on Tuesday leaving one crew member injured and three missing, a spokeswoman said.

Petty Officer Second Class Elizabeth Bordelon said the MH-65 Dolphin crashed just after 8:30 p.m. local time near Point Clear, Alabama.

Bordelon, speaking from New Orleans, said the flight originated from the Aviation Training Center in Mobile. She could not immediately confirm the condition of the rescued crew member transported to a local hospital or if the injured and missing were Coast Guard service members. Names of the crew members have not been released pending notification of relatives.

A response cutter from Dauphin Island and two additional MH-65s from New Orleans have been dispatched to assist in the search, she said.

A Mobile County Sheriff's Flotilla crew, an HU-144 twin-engine aircraft and an Alabama Marine Resources vessel have also been activated.

The cause of the crash was not immediately known.

(Editing by Greg McCune)