Ocean Search for Flier Abandoned

From a Times Staff Writer

A search was called off Thursday for a Navy flier missing after the jet he was flying crashed in the Pacific Ocean about 70 miles south of San Clemente Island, authorities said.

Navy officials said the search for Lt. Richard B. Bridges Jr. was abandoned at 6 p.m. Bridges, 28, and Lt. Todd M. Odegaard, 26, were aboard an S-3 Viking twin-engine jet when it ditched in the ocean Wednesday. The aircraft, which is designed to detect enemy submarines, was on a routine training mission, Navy officials said.

Crewmen aboard a Coast Guard C-130 aircraft spotted Odegaard, who is from Plymouth, Minn., and dropped a life raft to him. He was lifted uninjured from the water by a Navy helicopter Wednesday night.

Bridges, who is from Acworth, Ga., was presumed lost at sea, said officials at North Island Naval Air Station, where the Viking was based.

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