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Navy Ends Search for Missing Crewmembers

The Navy called off the search for three missing crewmembers of a Navy helicopter that crashed in the ocean last Friday. The helicopter crashed about 50 miles off of California’s southern coast during a training mission, killing one sailor and leaving three others missing.

The Navy searched for the remaining crew members through the night and into Saturday afternoon before putting an end to the search. "The cold water temperature and the time that elapsed since the crash occurred led Navy officials to conclude that aircrew survivability is extremely unlikely," said Navy Lt. Cmdr. Elizabeth Meydenbauer.

The Navy knows the location of the sunken helicopter, which went down at about 4:30 p.m. CST Friday, but they are unsure of whether or not the wreckage will be recovered, Meydenbauer said.

The helicopter was based at the Naval Air Station North Island in Coronado, and was on a mission off the USS Bonhomme Richard at the time of the crash. According to a Navy spokesperson, the pilot radioed a Mayday, but gave no indications of mechanical malfunctions or a fire.

The names of the sailors onboard the copter have not yet been released, pending family notification.