MOBILE, Ala. (AP) — U.S. Coast Guard officials said they've recovered the bodies of two of the three crewmembers who had been missing since a helicopter crashed in Mobile Bay in Alabama.
Searchers recovered the remains of Lt. Cmdr. Dale Taylor of Snow Hill, N.C.; and Lt. j.g. Thomas Cameron of Portland, Ore., Thursday, authorities said.
A fourth crewmember, Chief Petty Officer Fernando Jorge, had been found unresponsive and later pronounced dead shortly after the Tuesday night crash.
The MH-65C helicopter crashed in the bay's shallow waters during a training mission.
Active search and rescue operations for the remaining missing crewmember have been suspended, and crews are now conducting salvage and recovery operations, the Coast Guard said in a statement.
"The decision to suspend the active search was terribly difficult," said Capt. Donald J. Rose, commander of Coast Guard Sector Mobile.
"Now, we must shift our focus to continuing salvage and recovery operations," Rose said. "As we continue to recover wreckage, we will look for the missing crewman."
Crews searched for 36 hours, conducting about 30 search patterns that covered 1,198 nautical miles within a search area of more than 200 square-nautical miles in an effort to locate the crewmen, Coast Guard officials said.