Crews begin raising crashed helicopter to surface

U.S. Coast Guard officials say they've begun the process of lifting a submerged helicopter from the floor of Alabama's Mobile Bay to the surface as they continue searching for three missing crewmembers after the aircraft plunged into the water.

Petty Officer Bill Colclough said Thursday morning that the effort started between 3 a.m. and 4 a.m. Rescue crews have said they need to raise the helicopter's fuselage to gain access to it, and find out whether the crewmembers are inside or somewhere at sea.

The MH-65C helicopter crashed on a training mission Tuesday evening near Point Clear. One crewmember, the chopper's rescue swimmer, was found unresponsive and later declared dead.

Colclough says 95 percent of Mobile Bay has been searched.