US Airman Missing After 460-Meter Drop From C-130 Into Gulf of Mexico

© New Jersey National Guard/Mark OlsenA U.S. Air Force C-130 H2 Hercules with the Delaware Air National Guard’s 166th Airlift Wing flies over the Boardwalk during the 2019 Atlantic City International Airshow “A Salute To Those That Serve” at Atlantic City, N.J., Aug. 21, 2019
A U.S. Air Force C-130 H2 Hercules with the Delaware Air National Guard’s 166th Airlift Wing flies over the Boardwalk during the 2019 Atlantic City International Airshow “A Salute To Those That Serve” at Atlantic City, N.J., Aug. 21, 2019 - Sputnik International
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The US Air Force has called on the Coast Guard to assist in efforts to locate an airman who fell from a C-130 Hercules aircraft into the Gulf of Mexico during parachute training exercise on Tuesday.

Several air and boat crews have been actively searching the waters some 4 miles south of Hurlburt Field, Florida, since a US Air Force service member from the 24th Special Operations Wing went missing at around 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday.

Florida news outlet WEAR-TV reported that the man fell approximately 460 meters (roughly 1,500 feet), but his parachute did deploy prior to him landing in the water. Although he was last seen treading water, the C-130 crew had lost sight of him by the time they circled around to rescue him.

In addition to groups from Hurlburt Field, the Coast Guard has deployed three separate aircrews and a number of boat crews, according to the Air Force Times.

The US Army’s 7th Special Forces Group, Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission are also scouring the area to locate the missing airman.

Rescue efforts are taking place within a 700-square-mile area. The airman’s identity has not yet been released.

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