Navy jet crashes off Key West; pilot rescued
The U.S. Coast Guard rescued a Navy pilot from water outside Key West Wednesday afternoon after his jet crashed, according to the Department of Homeland Security.
The Coast Guard was notified just after 1 p.m. that a Navy F-5N jet pilot was in the water, around 20 nautical miles southeast of Key West, and needed help.
Watchstanders with the 7th District Command Center diverted an Air Station Miami MH-65 Dolphin Helicopter crew and an HC-144 Ocean Sentry airplane crew to find the pilot, a news release from the Coast Guard said.
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The pilot had shot off an emergency smoke signal and was spotted around 1:15 p.m. Soon afterwards, crews carefully lifted him from the water. He was brought to Lower Keys Medical Center in good condition, according to the statement.
The jet’s crash-landing now marks 13 non-combat crashes of U.S. military aircraft in 2017 – up more than 50 percent during the last year, Fox News has learned.
Fox News' Lucas Tomlinson contributed to this report.