Flags ordered at half-staff for helicopter victims
BATON ROUGE - The governors of Florida and Louisiana ordered Friday for flags at state buildings to be flown at half-staff for victims of a military helicopter crash.
Governors Bobby Jindal and Rick Scott issued the executive orders to honor the four Louisiana National Guard members and seven Marines who died or are presumed dead in Tuesday night's crash.
Military officials said they've recovered the remains of the seven Marines and two of the Guard members, who were identified and their families notified of their deaths. They believe the bodies of the final two Guard members are still with the main body of the helicopter, which settled in 25 feet of water after it crashed.
The military said Friday that heavy fog and rough seas hindered efforts to recover the helicopter, and they'll have to wait for it to clear before a salvage team can raise the debris. Resolve Marina Group from Mobile, Ala. was hired to handle recovery and said a salvage barge would be on-site by noon Friday.
"This tragedy is a reminder to us all that these men and women run into danger when many of us would run away, and for that we are forever grateful," Governor Jindal said in a press release.
The Louisiana National Guard said this week that several of the Guard members had participated in rescue efforts during Hurricane Katrina and assisted with cleanup operations after the BP oil spill.