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Crew of Navy Plane Rescued After Crash Into Ocean

<i> From a Times Staff Writer</i>

All four crew members of a Navy anti-submarine airplane were rescued Tuesday morning after the craft crashed into the Pacific during a training flight, officials said.

The crew members, who ejected from their plane, were flown to Balboa Naval Medical Center in San Diego and admitted with minor injuries, said a Navy spokesman. They were pulled from the sea by four Navy swimmers and a pair of search-and-rescue helicopters.

The twin-engine S-3B Viking, used for hunting subs and surface ships, went down about 8:30 a.m., about 30 miles from where marine specialists were releasing J.J., the California gray whale that washed ashore in Marina del Rey last year. Navy officials said the flight was unrelated to J.J.'s return to the ocean.

“They didn’t have anything to do with each other. They just happened to be in the same area,” said Senior Chief James Jackson, a Navy spokesman.

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The crash site was about 20 miles from San Clemente Island, in a key training area for Navy aircraft and ships.

The cause of the crash is under investigation.


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