published Thursday, January 9th, 2014

Coast Guard: Search called off for missing sailor in Navy copter crash off Virginia coast

  • photo
    In a Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014, photo provided by the U.S. Coast guard, the crew aboard the Coast Guard cutter Shearwater searches for a sailor who has been missing since a Navy helicopter with five crew members aboard crashed in the ocean off the Virginia coast Wednesday, about 20 miles east of Cape Henry, Va. Two Navy helicopters rescued four of the five crew members and the Coast Guard continues to search for the fifth person.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — The Coast Guard says rescuers have called off the search for a sailor who has been missing since a Navy helicopter with five crew members aboard crashed in the ocean off the Virginia coast.

Two people died in the Wednesday crash, which happened during a routine training mission.

The Coast Guard had searched for the missing sailor by air and sea for more than 30 hours before calling off the active search at 3:30 p.m. Thursday. The Navy also sent out two helicopters to assist with the search.

"We're not actively looking, but we have an on-the-scene presence," said Capt. John Little, Coast Guard section commander.

The Navy says the two who died were among four crew members hoisted from the 42-degree waters Wednesday by a Navy helicopter and taken to a hospital.

Of the two survivors, one was released from the hospital Thursday, and the other could be released as soon as Friday, said Capt. Todd Flannery, the commander of Helicopter Sea Combat Wing Atlantic at a press conference. He declined to identify the survivors.

The sailors who died were Lt. Wesley Van Dorn, 29, of Greensboro, N.C., and Petty Officer 3rd Class Brian Collins, 25, of Truckee, Calif. Van Dorn was a pilot and Collins a crewman on the flight, Flannery said.

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