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Coast Guard: Navy helicopter down off Virginia

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Posted: Jan 8, 2014 10:53 AM

Updated: Jan 8, 2014 10:54 AM

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) A Navy helicopter with five aboard went down in the Atlantic 18 miles off Virginia on Wednesday. All but one of those aboard was rescued at sea, the Coast Guard said.

The search continued for the fifth occupant in 42 degree seas after a Navy helicopter airlifted the four and brought them to a civilian hospital in Norfolk, Coast Guard Petty Officer David Weydert said.

The condition of the four, who were taken to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, was not immediately available. A spokeswoman referred questions about their status to the Navy, which did not immediately respond to questions from The Associated Press.

The Navy identified the aircraft as an MH-53-E. According to the Naval Air Systems Command website, the aircraft performs airborne mine countermeasures and onboard delivery missions. It holds a crew of up to eight, including two pilots and is capable of speeds of more than 170 mph.

The helicopter measures 99 feet long and more than 28 feet tall. It weighs 69,750 pounds.

The helicopter's mission or why it went down was not immediately known.

Weydert said two Coast Guard vessels, including a cutter, responded to the scene.

Topics: US-Helicopter-Crash

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