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Marines Call Helicopter Escape ‘Miracle’

Marines Call Helicopter Escape ‘Miracle’

Twenty-five U.S. Marines and sailors scrambled Monday morning to escape a USMC Sikorsky CH-53 Super Stallion helicopter as it sunk to the bottom of the Gulf of Aden after it crashed attempting to land on the USS Mesa Verde.

The 17 Marines and eight sailors on board the helicopter were able to board life rafts deployed from the aircraft itself before being picked up by rigid hull inflatable boats from the Mesa Verde, said U.S. Navy Lt. Joseph Hontz, spokesman for the Navy’s Fifth Fleet.

Navy officials have called the rescue a “miracle” that all 25 sailors and Marines survived the crash and escaped the fast-sinking helicopter that plummeted to the bottom of the ocean. As the helicopter began sinking, sailors and Marines swam for survival while crew members on board the Mesa Verde rushed into action, Navy officials said.

For the complete story by Kris Osborn of Military.com, click here.

Photo by U.S. Marine Corps

Updated: September 4, 2014 — 9:51 AM

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