Coast Guard Rescues Marines


Two Marines were plucked out of the Pacific by the Coast Guard at about 2:30 Thursday morning, four hours after ejecting from an F/A-18D 85 miles southwest of San Diego. Both men were listed in stable condition after being delivered to Naval Medical Center San Diego but suffered from injuries that included broken bones and hypothermia. Capt. Pete Brawn of Albany, Ore., and his weapons system officer had been flying as part of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing out of Miramar in San Diego. They were flying with another F/A-18. That jet’s crew reported it had lost contact with the accident aircraft at about 10:15 p.m. and saw debris in the water.

Personnel onboard a Coast Guard Cutter heard the men in the water when they arrived on scene and a Coast Guard JayHawk moved the men to the medical center. Captain Brawn suffered serious injuries to his collarbone and shoulders. Details about his systems officer were not immediately released. Brawn’s grandmother was contacted by her grandson’s hometown Albany Democrat-Herald newspaper. She said, “We’re relieved that he’s OK. We understand that the Coast Guard was surprised to find them alive.” Both Brawn and his systems operator were said to be recovering from their injuries. The F-18 Hornet’s last major incident near San Diego involved an engine explosion that started a fire aboard the USS John C. Stennis. Eleven sailors were injured in that event.