Navy chopper crashes near Zamboanga

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 17 2010 01:13 PM | Updated as of Aug 17 2010 09:25 PM

MANILA, Philippines - A Philippine Navy Bolkov helicopter PNH411 crashed in the sea between Great Santa Cruz and Little Santa Cruz islands near Zamboanga City around 11 a.m. Tuesday.

Navy spokesman Lt. Col. Edgard Arevalo said the helicopter had 2 pilots, a crew member and 2 passengers on board.

The 2 passengers and crew member identified as PO2 Rodolfo Pataueg, PO2 Noel Ridad and PO2 Abdon Martinez have been rescued and are now safe at Camp Navarro Gen Hospital.

Navy divers are still searching for the two pilots.

The helicopter was on a routine flight mission and was being used to document Inshore Combat Tactics Training when it crashed.

Arevalo said all Navy ships and floating assets participating in the exercise immediately took to the waters for the rescue mission.