Five US Marines missing after helicopter found near San Diego

Five US Marines were missing on Wednesday after the wreckage of their helicopter was found in a remote area east of San Diego hours after it went missing in a mix of heavy rain and snow.

The CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter was found by civil authorities in Pine Valley at about 9 a.m., some eight hours after it was reported overdue when it failed to reach the Marine Corps Air Station in Miramar, California, the Marine Corps said in a statement.

The 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, along with the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department and the Civil Air Patrol, were conducting a search and rescue effort for the five crew members, the Marines said.

The crew had been on a routine training flight that had originated in Creech Air Force Base in Nevada, about 40 miles (60 km) northwest of Las Vegas on Tuesday night, the Marines said.

A helicopter hovers over the sea at night (Illustrative). (credit: NARA & DVIDS Public Domain Archive)

San Diego County Sheriff’s Department said it had received a call at 1 a.m. reporting the missing helicopter. 

The department said in a post on X that a mix of snow and rain did not allow it to use its helicopter unit for the search. Instead it deployed all-terrain vehicles to survey the area.

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