Two Navy pilots recovered after fighter crashes near Key West

Barbie Wilson Photography(KEY WEST, Fla.) -- Two U.S. Navy aviators were recovered from the waters off of Key West, Florida, after their F/A-18 fighter jet crashed during a training flight. Both pilots are receiving medical attention and their status is unknown, an official said.

The two-seater F/A-18F was on approach to Boca Chica Field at Naval Air Station Key West when it went down in shallow water about a mile from the runway, a Navy spokesman said.

"The mishap occurred at approximately 4:30 p.m. EDT," said Cmdr. Dave Hecht, a spokesman for Naval Air Forces Atlantic. "Search and rescue were alerted at 4:37 p.m. and were on the scene by 4:40 p.m."

"Search and rescue efforts recovered the pilot and the weapons system officer, who were aboard the aircraft," said Hecht.

"They were brought to Boca Chica and taken by ambulance to Lower Keys Medical Center in Key West," he added.

Hecht said the status of both pilots is unknown.

The crash was first reported by eyewitnesses who described a helicopter hovering above a jet lying in the waters off of Key West.

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