Four pilots rescued after Navy jet crash off North Carolina coast released from hospital

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OREGON INLET, N.C. - The U.S. Coast Guard responded off the North Carolina coast Thursday morning after receiving reports of an in-air mishap between two jets.

121010-N-CH661-068 RED SEA (Oct. 10, 2012) An F/A-18F Super Hornet assigned to the Checkmates of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 211 conducts a refueling with an F/A-18E Super Hornet assigned to the Knighthawks of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 136 during an air power demonstration near the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65). Enterprise is returning from a deployment to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility, where the ship conducting maritime security operations, theater security cooperation efforts and support missions for Operation Enduring Freedom. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jared King/Released)

RED SEA (Oct. 10, 2012) An F/A-18F Super Hornet assigned to the Checkmates of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 211 conducts a refueling with an F/A-18E Super Hornet assigned to the Knighthawks of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 136 (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jared King/Released)

According to the Navy, the incident involved two F/A-18F Super Hornets that were flying approximately 24 nautical miles off the coast of Cape Hatteras.

Complete coverage: Four rescued after Navy jet crash

The Navy confirmed that the jets were from Strike Fighter Squadron 211 (VFA-211) based at Naval Air Station Oceana.

The incident was reported around 10:40 a.m. and an HH-60 Jayhawk Coast Guard helicopter dispatched from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City to assist.

It was originally reported that the two planes collided, but the Coast Guard later corrected their statement to say it was an in-air mishap.

There were two pilots in each jet and all four were rescued.

The Coast Guard reported that the crew of the 48-foot-yacht Pammy recovered all four pilots.  The Coast Guard helicopter hoisted the pilots and transported them to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital.

Two were moved from the deck of the yacht to a Coast Guard rescue boat before being hoisted into the helicopter, while the other two were hoisted directly from a raft in the water, according to Coast Guard 5th District External Affairs Lieutenant Commander Krystyn Pecora.

Click here to watch our interviews with the Coast Guard crew who performed the rescue.

At 12:50 p.m., one Coast Guard helicopter arrived at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital carrying two of the four pilots. They were both able to move themselves to the waiting stretcher.

At 1:20 p.m., a second Coast Guard helicopter arrived at the hospital carrying the remaining two pilots. They both were able to climb from the helicopter and walk into the hospital on their own.

The Coast Guard said all four pilots had minor injuries but were in high spirits Thursday afternoon. News 3 was informed by the Navy at 8:30 p.m. Friday that all four had been released from medical care.

A safety investigation will be carried out to determine the cause of the accident.

Related:

As Super Hornets crashed into Atlantic, Navy testified before Congress about Super Hornet part shortages

A closer look at F/A 18 Super Hornets; their history and function

Previous mishaps involving military aircraft in Hampton Roads

Video: Coast Guard hoists pilots after Navy jet crash off N.C. coast

Watch: Interviews with Coast Guard crew who rescued Navy pilots after crash

Raw video: Coast Guard gives press conference after Navy pilots rescued from crash

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