Coast Guard Continues Search For Helicopter Crewmember

March 5, 2012

The Coast Guard is continuing recovery operations for the missing crewmember of the MH-65C helicopter that crashed in Mobile Bay.

The activities are being hampered by high winds and heavy seas. Air operations and shoreline patrols will continue to be conducted Saturday, and the Coast Guard Cutter Stingray remains onscene to enforce the safety zone. Divers and boat crews equipped with side-scanning sonar were to resume operations Sunday.

“Our priority is to find the missing crewmember and the debris associated with the aircraft,” said Capt. Donald J. Rose, commander of Coast Guard Sector Mobile. “But we must ensure the safety of our crews who are engaged in these operations.”

The bodies of Lt. Cmdr. Dale Taylor, of Snow Hill, N.C., and Lt. j.g. Thomas Cameron, of Portland, Ore., were recovered by response personnel, Thursday. Chief Petty Officer Fernando Jorge was recovered Tuesday night after communications with the helicopter was lost during a training flight. Missing is Petty Officer 3rd Class Andrew Knight of Thomasville, Ala.

A Mishap Analysis Board has been convened by the commandant of the Coast Guard. The team will conduct a safety analysis of all aspects of the accident to determine causal factors and make recommendations to prevent the recurrence of similar mishaps in the future. The members of the board have experience in a variety of specialties including flight operations, engineering, medical, aviation support systems and accident analysis.


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