SANTEE (CNS) - The remains of a Navy pilot from Santee who perished when his helicopter crashed off the coast of Virginia Beach a week ago Wednesday have been recovered by a team of Navy divers.
Lt. Sean Christopher Snyder, 39, was among five sailors aboard the MH- 53E Sea Dragon that crashed for unknown reasons around 11 a.m. Jan. 8, according to a statement released by Commander Naval Air Force Atlantic.
Within an hour of the crash, the other four sailors were found floating near the wreckage and hoisted from 42-degree waters. All four were taken to a hospital, where two died and two were treated and released.
The Coast Guard and the Navy searched a roughly 500-square-mile area around the crash site by air and sea for more than 30 hours before calling off the active search for Snyder at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, according to the Coast Guard.
Late Monday, Navy drivers using an underwater remote control vehicle spotted Snyder's remains among the sunken wreckage but were unable to retrieve the remains due to bad weather. Early Tuesday, recovery efforts resumed and divers recovered his remains, according to the Navy.
In a statement, the Snyder family said it was "truly thankful to the men and women of the United States Navy. Sean was a man of honor and a true hero, not only to his country, but also to his wife, children, family and friends. Our strength and trust remain in Christ."
The others killed in the Jan. 8 crash were identified as Lt. Wesley Van Dorn, 29, of Greensboro, N.C., and Petty Officer 3rd Class Brian Andrew Collins, 25, of Truckee. Van Dorn, like Snyder, was a pilot on the flight and Collins, a crewman.
A memorial service for Snyder, Von Dorn and Collins was being planned for Friday at Naval Station Norfolk.
The aircraft was part of Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron Fourteen based at Naval Station Norfolk.
The Sea Dragon is 99 feet long, weighs up to 34 tons and holds up to two pilots and six crew members. It is typically used for heavy lifting, including the towing of a heavy piece of equipment that is used in mine clearing operations. The Navy said last week's crash occurred during a routine training exercise for mine countermeasures.
Vacationing homeowners were hit by thieves in Mira Mesa, but thanks to a smartphone app, the crooks did not get away with it.
Signs warning people to stay out of the water are once again posted in Imperial Beach after a new spill from Mexico dumped hundreds of thousands of gallons of sewage into the Tijuana River - polluting the South Bay.
Two defense contractors were sentenced to prison Friday for conspiring to steal more than $3 million worth of medical equipment from Camp Pendleton that the military had planned to ship overseas to treat injured Marines.
It was all the buzz then, and four decades later people are still crazy over Star Wars. The original film opened 40-years ago this weekend and it was an instant sensation. News 8's Eric Kahnert went into our own archives to take us back to that day in history.
News 8's new mother Shannon Handy was walking with her mommy group Friday morning at Torrey Pines when an unexpected baby joined the group. Take a look!
Some people tell their kids to go for the gold. On Friday in Carlsbad, that's just what students did at La Costa Meadows Elementary.
The remains of a U.S. Navy pilot killed when his plane was shot down during the Vietnam War have been brought to San Diego for burial.
A 14-year-old Steele Canyon High School student was arrested for allegedly sending a threatening message to another student at the Spring Valley-area campus via Snapchat.