- Associated Press - Thursday, August 11, 2011

SAN DIEGO (AP) — The crew of a Marine Corps fighter jet that crashed into the Pacific Ocean was rescued early Thursday after spending hours in the waters off San Diego, the U.S. Coast Guard said.

A Coast Guard rescue swimmer plucked the two Marines from the ocean at about 2:30 a.m., and they were flown to a hospital, where they were listed in stable condition, Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Henry G. Dunphy said.

“They were just basically floating in the water” when the crew of a search boat heard them calling for help about 35 miles offshore and called in a helicopter, Petty Officer Dunphy said.

The two fliers were found about 85 miles southwest of San Diego, he said.

The Marines were aboard an F/A-18 Hornet that was flying with another jet that reported it missing around 10:15 p.m. Wednesday.

The other aircraft was able to tell the Coast Guard the general area where the plane vanished, and an air-and-sea search began, Petty Officer Dunphy said.

The aircraft were based at the local Marine Corps Air Station Miramar.

The missing jet was not recovered, Petty Officer Dunphy said.

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