Search continues for 5 Marines after missing military helicopter found

US Marine Corps Sikorsky CH-53E Super Stallion Heavy lift Helicopter taking off

The search still continues for five U.S. Marines who went missing early on Wednesday after rescuers found their military helicopter in Southern California. The 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing is managing search and rescue efforts near Pine Valley, California, in San Diego County. Officials did not say what condition the helicopter was in when it was found.

The helicopter, a Sikorsky CH-53E Super Stallion, was found about 40 miles from San Diego in Pine Valley at about 9 a.m., according to the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing. The Marine Corps has been leading the search and rescue effort after it was reported overdue about 1:40 a.m. on Wednesday. The helicopter was traveling from the Creech Air Force Base near Las Vegas to the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Deigo went it went missing, Marine Corps officials said. Rescue crews initially searched an area of the Cleveland National Forest east of San Diego.

The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department and multiple federal, state and local agencies are assisting in locating the Marines.Firefighters were also dispatched, but due to low visibility search efforts were pulled back, Cal Fire said.

The search comes amid a winter storm in San Diego that dumped heavy rain on the area and caused flash flood warnings, hindering search efforts in the area.

Editorial credit: Daz Hopper Photography /