Navy copter crashes into Pacific Ocean, killing at least 1

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SAN DIEGO (AP) – A Navy helicopter with four crew members aboard crashed Friday into the Pacific Ocean about 50 miles off the California coast, killing at least one person, a Navy spokesman said.

It was unclear whether the other three crew members survived.

“We remain optimistic that we’ll find the remaining three and that they’ll be in good shape,” said Cmdr. Jack Hanzlik.

The helicopter, based at Naval Air Station North Island, was on a training mission when it crashed at 2:45 p.m., Hanzlik said.

The MH-60S, commonly known as a Seahawk, was on a mission off the USS Bonhomme Richard near San Clemente Island.

Navy search-and-rescue efforts were under way as darkness fell. Hanzlik said rescue crews arrived at the crash site within minutes.

The names and rank of those aboard were not being released, Hanzlik said.

The USS Bonhomme Richard is an amphibious assault craft that transported Marines to Indonesia after the 2004 tsunami.

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