A helicopter crash was reported on Tuesday in Mobile Bay in Alabama. According to details, the Coast Guard MH-65C Dolphin helicopter crashed with four people on board. The accident occurred at night and search operation was immediately started to look for crew members. The crew included pilot Lt. Commander Dale Taylor, co-pilot Lt. junior grade Thomas Cameron, engineer Petty Officer 3rd Class Andrew Knight and Chief Petty Officer Fernando Jorge.
Fernando Jorge was found in the helicopter, but was not able to survive the crash. He was declared dead and the search continued for the rest of the victims. The pilot and co-pilot were also found dead later. The fourth member, however, has not been recovered yet and the search operation has been suspended for some time. "The decision to suspend the active search was terribly difficult," Captain Donald Rose, the commander of Coast Guard Sector Mobile, said regarding the decision.
The search operation was halted as the weather conditions were very tough and the search team was facing great difficulty in carrying out their task. The visibility is still very low around the lake, where the helicopter crashed. The wreckage is now being fetched to investigate the cause of the accident. The reason of the crash has not been identified so far. The flight data recorder of the helicopter has been recovered and is going to provide help in the investigations.
The helicopter was on a training flight when the unfortunate incident happened. The search operation to locate the missing people was done by utilizing maximum resources by the concerned department.
"We saturated 95% of Mobile Bay for nearly two days with both aircraft and boats to thoroughly cover the search area. Now, we must shift our focus to continuing salvage and recovery operations. As we continue to recover wreckage, we will look for the missing crewman," Captain Rose said regarding the decision to divert attention towards recovering the wreckage.
The detailed inquiry into the evidences found at the crash site and recovered material might tell the cause of the accident. Right now, the department is not able to predict anything and the officials are waiting for further clues and information from the ongoing investigation. The tragedy has taken away precious lives that are an irreparable loss to the department and families of those who died.