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Sailor falls 40 feet into St. Johns River

NAS: Hoist to chopper became detached

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Tuesday during a search and rescue training exercise, a Navy sailor became detached from his hoist attached to a helicopter, and fell 40 feet into the St. Johns River.

The fall happened late Tuesday afternoon near the Naval Air Station Jacksonville, according to Bill Austin with Mayport Naval Base. The sailor did not fall out of the Mayport helicopter, but rather became detached from his connection to the chopper, and fell. How the hoist was detached is under investigation.

The sailor never lost consciousness and was awake and alert the entire time. He was taken to Orange Park Medical Center as a precaution.

During rescue exercises such as this one, the Navy always has boats in the water as backup in case something happens, Austin said. The boats were able to quickly get to the sailor and pull him out of the water.