Bodies of Navy pilots found off the waters of Zamboanga City

THE bodies of two Navy pilots were found in waters off Zamboanga City yesterday morning, two days after their helicopter crashed.

A message from Navy spokesman Lt. Col. Edgard Arevalo said Navy SEALS who had been searching for the two since the Bolkov helicopter PNH411 went down Tuesday found the body of Lt. Gerald Tamayo two nautical miles off Little Santa Cruz Island around 7:11 a.m. yesterday.

Fourteen minutes after, the body of Lt. Tristan John Corpus was found 350 yards off Great St. Cruz Island.

The two were on a mission to document inshore combat tactics training when their chopper went down between the two islands at around 11 a.m. Tuesday.

Three Navy enlisted personnel onboard the helicopter – Petty Officer 2 Rodolfo Pataueg, chopper crewman, and passengers Petty Officers 2 Noel Ridad and Abdon Martirez – survived the crash.

Arevalo said the two aviators had “participated in many combat missions and search and rescue operations” before the crash.

The bodies of the pilots have been brought to the headquarters of Naval Forces Western Mindanao in Zamboanga City.  Anthony Vargas

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