Coast Guard suspends search for downed aircrews

SAN DIEGO — The Coast Guard suspended the search for survivors of a downed Coast Guard C-130 Hercules aircraft and Marine Corps AH-1 Super Cobra helicopter 15 miles east of San Clemente Island, Calif., at 9:50 a.m., Sunday, Nov. 1, 2009.

The Coast Guard first received word of the collision at 7:10 p.m. Thursday. Coast Guard, Navy, Marine, and Customs and Border Protection crews participated in the search.

There were seven crewmembers aboard the Coast Guard plane, and two aboard the Marine Corps helicopter. The multi-agency search involved more than 20 search and rescue assets and covered an area of more than 644 square miles for 63 hours.

“Continuous search coverage was provided from the time of the crash until suspension,” said Capt. Thomas Farris, commanding officer of Sector San Diego. “Coast Guard assets will stay on scene with Navy assets to assist in salvage efforts. A joint mishap analysis board consisting of Coast Guard and Marine Corps members will be convened to investigate the incident.”

The cause of the crash is under investigation.

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