While the U.S. Navy begins an underwater search for the wreckage of a helicopter that crashed off the coast of San Diego Tuesday, a father of a 25-year old rescue swimmer reports his son was one of the victims in the crash.
Officials say the HH60 Seahawk helicopter had taken off from the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz and crashed at about 11:30 p.m. Tuesday. There were five crew members inside the helicopter. One body was recovered by Harbor Police just as the sun came up Wednesday. The Coast Guard found the other two later in the day.
Late on Wednesday, the Oregonian reported that Lee Clingman of North Portland said he was the father of one of the men on board the aircraft -- Aaron Lee Clingman, a 25-year-old Naval air crewman 2nd Class from Oregon.
Crew members could be expected to survive about 36 hours after the crash, based on water temperature, body weight and other factors, said Coast Guard Petty Officer Jetta Disco.
The debris field was spread out near the Coronado Islands 13 miles southwest of San Diego off the northwest coast of Mexico. A team of Navy search and salvage specialists plan to use unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs) to search for the wreckage Thursday.
A team of experienced search and salvage specialists from Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit (EODMU) 1 will join with U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Steadfast, according to a release from the U.S. Coast Guard.
The helicopter, part of an anti-submarine squadron from Carrier Air Wing 11, was 87 miles from USS Nimitz when it crashed. The Nimitz and a half-dozen other ships in its strike group were taking part in search-and-rescue training exercises.
The victims' identities have not been released pending notification of family.