In a press conference Thursday Air Force Col. Monte Cannon — vice commander of the 96th Test Wing — told reporters they are no longer hopeful for survivors almost two days after an Army UH-60 Black Hawk crashed in Florida waters near Eglin Air Force Base.
The aircraft had 11 troops aboard.
Seven North Carolina Marines and four Louisiana National crew members were in the helicopter during night training when it plummeted from the sky around 8:30 Tuesday night. Conditions of heavy fog are believed to have played a key part in the disaster.
And while debris, wreckage and human remains are said to have washed ashore in the past day or so, the effort remained a search-and-rescue. Until now.
Cannon said that they are not identifying the fallen Marines or providing information regarding the victims as they are still in the process of recovery.
“We have retrieved remains, that’s all I can tell you at this point,” he said. “We have the Armed Forces Medical Examiner out there right now, and he’s working that.”
The Louisiana Guard, however, did confirm that two out of the four soldiers are dead and the remains have been recovered. The two other soldiers are believed to be in the wreckage and will be confirmed when the civilian unit raises the aircraft.