Little Hope Of Survivors From Midair

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The Coast Guard Sunday called off the search for survivors of a midair collision between a Guard C-130 and a Marine AH-1W Super Cobra helicopter off San Clemente Island on the southern California coast. There were seven people on the Herc and two in the helicopter when they collided late Thursday in what witnesses reported was a ball of fire. "After an exhaustive effort with the intent to rescue, our hope has dimmed in finding any survivors," Petty Officer First Class Allyson Conroy, a spokeswoman for the Coast Guard in San Diego told the New York Times. "We are now concentrating on recovering anything out of the water, or anyone out of the water." Debris has been found but no bodies.

The helicopter crew was escorting troop transport helicopters in a five-ship formation on their way to a night training exercise. The Guard plane was looking for a 50-year-old man reported missing in a 12-foot inflatable boat. The man in the boat has still not been found.