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Coast Guard finds remains of 2 crewmembers in Mobile Bay

By Julianne Hanckel

Publication: theday.com

Published March 02. 2012 12:09PM   Updated March 02. 2012 6:10PM

MOBILE, Ala. — The Coast Guard has recovered the remains of two crewmembers today while salvaging the MH-65C Dolphin helicopter that crashed in Mobile Bay, Ala., on Tuesday.

The remains of 2009 Coast Guard graduate and Portland, Ore., resident Lt. j.g. Thomas Cameron and of Lt. Cmdr. Dale Taylor, of Snow Hill, N.C., were recovered by response personnel.

The body of Chief Petty Officer Fernando Jorge was recovered Tuesday night after communications with the helicopter was lost during a training flight. Still missing is Petty Officer 3rd Class Andrew Knight of Thomasville, Ala.

According to a press release by the U.S. Coast Guard, Coast Guard crews searched for 36 hours, conducting "approximately 30 search patterns with track-line-search legs that covered 1,198 nautical miles within a search area of more than 200 square-nautical miles in an effort to locate the Coast Guardsmen."

"We saturated 95 percent of Mobile Bay for nearly two days with both aircraft and boats to thoroughly cover the search area. The decision to suspend the active search was terribly difficult," Capt. Donald J. Rose, commander of Coast Guard Sector Mobile, said in the release. "Now, we must shift our focus to continuing salvage and recovery operations. As we continue to recover wreckage, we will look for the missing crewman."

The cause of the accident is under investigation.

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