By Daniella Silva, Courtney Kube and Alexandra Bacallao
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.
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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.
Daniella Silva is a reporter for NBC News, specializing in immigration and inclusion issues, as well as coverage of Latin America.
Courtney Kube is a correspondent covering national security and the military for the NBC News Investigative Unit.