Coast Guard suspends search for downed Navy aircraft

SAN DIEGO — The Coast Guard suspended the search for survivors of a downed Navy helicopter 15 miles west of Imperial Beach at 12:00 p.m., Thursday.

The Coast Guard first received word of the crash just before midnight on Tuesday. Coast Guard, Navy, San Diego Harbor Police, Customs and Border Protection, and Mexican Navy crews participated in the search.

There were five crewmembers onboard. The multi-agency search involved 17 search and rescue assets and covered an area of more than 35 square miles for 36 hours.

“Continuous search coverage was provided from the time of the crash until suspension,” said CDR Guy Pearce, response chief at Sector San Diego. “As many as two aerial and six surface units in the area at any time, providing multiple searches of a well defined and contained area.”

The search and salvage efforts will be handled by the U.S. Navy.

The cause of the crash is under investigation.

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