Coast Guard identifies crash victim, 3 missing crew

Reuters News
Posted: Mar 02, 2012 2:24 AM

By Kelli Dugan

MOBILE, Ala (Reuters) - U.S. Coast Guard officials have identified the four crew members aboard a helicopter that crashed into Mobile Bay during a training exercise on Tuesday, killing one and leaving the three others missing.

Chief Petty Officer Fernando Jorge was found unresponsive and was later pronounced dead, according to a Coast Guard statement issued on Thursday.

The search continued Thursday for the remaining crew members: Petty Officer 3rd Class Andrew Knight, Lt. j.g. Thomas Cameron and Lt. Cmdr. Dale Taylor.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation.

Coast Guard Petty Officer Bill Colclough said efforts to raise the aircraft submerged in the muddy waters off Alabama's coast began around 3 a.m. on Thursday, but the missing crew members were not inside.

Dense fog and choppy conditions have hampered search efforts, but a salvage vessel did successfully recover the aircraft's fuselage overnight, he said.

The helicopter crashed in Mobile Bay just after 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday southwest of Point Clear, Alabama. The flight originated from the Aviation Training Center in Mobile.

(Reporting By Cynthia Johnston and Peter Bohan)