Two bodies have been recovered and two
people are missing following the crash Thursday of a U.S. Navy helicopter in the
Gulf of Mexico some 15 miles south of Corpus Christi, Texas, a Navy
spokeswoman told CNN.
Two other crewmembers were rescued from the water shortly after the crash of
their MH-53E Sea Dragon helicopter, the Navy said.
One crewman was rescued almost immediately after the crash by a U.S. Coast
Guard helicopter and the second was plucked from the water by another Navy
MH-53E flying from a minesweeping ship operating in the area, according to the
The rescued crewmembers were taken to Spohn
Memorial Hospital in Corpus Christi. Their
condition was said only to be "stable," according
to the Navy.
Navy search and rescue teams, assisted by the Coast Guard and the USS
Gladiator, a mine countermeasure ship that was in the vicinity, were searching
for the missing crewmembers.
The downed helicopter, used primarily for airborne minesweeping and mine
hunting, was on a "routine training mission" when it crashed about 11 a.m., said
Navy Lt. Chuck Bell.
The helicopter is assigned to Squadron HM-15, based in Ingleside, Texas. The
squadron is one of two airborne mine countermeasure squadrons that hunt for,
and dispose of, sea mines.