Coast Guard continues recovery operations in Mobile Bay

MOBILE, Ala.— The Coast Guard continues recovery operations, Saturday, 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 will 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.

The Coast Guard reminds the public that debris associated with the helicopter wreckage should not be handled. The public is asked to contact the Sector Mobile command center or local authorities if they find any debris believed to be associated with the helicopter wreckage. The command center’s number is 251-441-6211.

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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