Wednesday, July 7, 2010

3 dead, 1 survivor in Coast Guard helicopter crash

Here's the latest news from the U.S. Coast Guard on today's tragedy involving a Sitka-based helicopter crew:

July 7, 2010, 5:30 p.m.

Coast Guard responds to Washington helicopter crash

JUNEAU — The multiple agency response to recover the crewmembers from an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crash that occurred today in the waters near James Island, Wash., has concluded.

Four Coast Guard Air Station Sitka members crashed while flying from Astoria, Ore., to Sitka.

One survivor and three deceased have been recovered.

The survivor is at a Seattle hospital being treated for non-life threatening injuries.

"I grieve with a heavy heart at the news of the death of three members of our Coast Guard family," said Rear Adm. Christopher Colvin, commander of the 17th Coast Guard District. "May friends and our Coast Guardsmen around the country bring strength and comfort to the families and crew of Air Station Sitka during this difficult time. My first priority is to ensure the family and members of Air Station Sitka are provided the support needed to endure this tragedy."

The Coast Guard is not releasing the condition of the survivor or the names of the crewmembers until next of kin notification is complete.

The next step of this response is the salvage and investigation phase. The investigation can include survivor interviews, witness interviews and review of information from the flight data recorder.

The search began at approximately 9:45 a.m. when the Coast Guard Air Station Sitka crew did not perform a routine radio check-in.

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