Two U.S. Navy Super Hornet fighter jets crashed off the coast of North Carolina, but the four pilots aboard escaped with only minor injuries, officials said Thursday.
The two F/A-18F Super Hornets were downed following "an in-air mishap" Thursday morning and four pilots were rescued by the United States Coast Guard and “a good Samaritan fishing vessel crew,” the USCG said in a statement.
The Coast Guard was notified after the jets suffered the mishap and four people were in the water. The crew of a commercial fishing vessel rescued two of the airmen and a Coast Guard helicopter crew “hoisted the other two survivors from the water,” the statement said.
All four were taken to a local hospital.
Three of the airmen sustained no injuries in the incident and one sustained a minor leg injury, Geoffrey Pagels, a search and rescue specialist with the U.S. Coast Guard District 5 Command Center, told NBC News. Pagel originally described the incident as a “mid-air collision.”
The Navy said two Super Hornets assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 211 “were involved in an in-flight mishap” off the coast of Cape Hatteras in North Carolina around 10:40 a.m. ET Thursday during a routine training mission.
“All aircrew have been recovered and are en route to medical facilities for evaluation,” the Navy said in a statement.
VFA-211 is based at Naval Air Station Oceana. A safety investigation will be carried out in order to determine the cause of the accident, the Navy said.