SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Two Miramar-based Marines who were aboard a Marine Corps F/A-18 Hornet fighter jet that crashed in the Pacific Ocean off Mexico were rescued early Thursday, a Coast Guard spokesman said.

The Marines were rescued about 2:30 a.m. and were in stable condition, said USCG Petty Officer 2nd Class Henry Dunphy, a spokesman for the agency. They were found in the water and hoisted aboard a Coast Guard helicopter, then immediately flown to a hospital for evaluation, he said.

The Hornet seats two people, a pilot and a weapon system officer. The cause of the incident was under investigation, said Marine 1st Lt. Maureen Dooley of Miramar.

Two F/A-18 Hornets based in Miramar were flying about 60 nautical miles south of Point Loma about 10:15 p.m. Wednesday when communications with one of the pilots ended, Dunphy said. The second pilot called in, saying he spotted debris in the water.

Two San Diego-based Coast Guard cutters and a C-130 plane from Sacramento were immediately sent to look for the missing aviators, and a U.S Navy ship was diverted to the area to assist in the search. Rescuers aboard one of the cutters heard the Marines calling for help, Dunphy said.

The F/A-18 Hornet is designed for dogfights and attacks on ground targets. It can carry a wide range of ordnance, including air-to-air and air- to-ground missiles.

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SAN DIEGO (AP) — The crew of a Marine Corps fighter jet that crashed into the Pacific Ocean was rescued early Thursday after spending hours in the waters off San Diego, the U.S. Coast Guard said.

A Coast Guard rescue swimmer plucked the two Marines from the ocean at about 2:30 a.m. and they were flown to a hospital where they were listed in stable condition, said Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Henry G. Dunphy.

"They were just basically floating in the water" when the crew of a search boat heard them calling for help about 35 miles offshore and called in a helicopter, Dunphy said.

The two were found about 85 miles southwest of San Diego, he said.

The Marines were aboard an F/A-18 Hornet that was flying with another jet that reported it missing around 10:15 p.m. Wednesday.

The other aircraft was able to tell the Coast Guard the general area where the plane vanished and an air and sea search began, Dunphy said.

The aircraft were based at the local Marine Corps Air Station Miramar.

The missing jet was not recovered, Dunphy said.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.