Coast Guard: Pilot Rescued after Ejecting into Ocean

WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, N.C. — Authorities say a pilot was rescued in the Atlantic Ocean off the North Carolina coast after he parachuted from what they believe was a Harrier jet as it went down in flames.

Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Adam Sansoucie says a hotel guest in Wrightsville Beach saw a person eject from the burning plane shortly before 5 p.m. Friday.

When Coast Guard rescuers arrived on the scene, they found a Navy helicopter with two swimmers had hoisted the pilot inside. Sansoucie says it's unclear whether the pilot was injured.

Sansoucie says no one else was on board.

Coast Guard officials say they believe the aircraft was a Harrier jet. Several squadrons of AV-8B Harriers are based at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point in Havelock.

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