Body of Coast Guard pilot from Portland recovered - KPTV - FOX 12

Body of Coast Guard pilot from Portland recovered

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

The body of a Coast Guard pilot from Oregon has been found three days after the helicopter he was in crashed in the Gulf Coast.

Thomas Cameron, 24, was among four crew members in a helicopter that went down in Mobile Bay, AL, Tuesday evening.

Cameron graduated from Cleveland High School in 2005.

Those who went to school with him remember Cameron as a very social and likeable guy.

While he was at Cleveland High School, Cameron was involved in many school activities, from swimming to soccer.

"He was just an all around great guy. Friends with everybody and a big social attendee," said Nicole Poole, who went to school with Cameron.

Cameron and three other crewmen were on a training mission in a Coast Guard helicopter on the eastern side of Mobile Bay. Officials said something went wrong and communication with the chopper was lost.

That's when they said the helicopter went down into the water.

Search crews responding to the crash site discovered the helicopter in 13 feet of muddy water, and that evening only found the body of Chief Petty Officer Fernando Jorge.

It wasn't until Thursday evening that search and rescue crews located the body of Lt. J.G. Thomas Cameron and Lt. Cmdr. Dale Taylor of Snow Hill, NC.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Andrew Knight of Thomasville, AL, is still missing. On Thursday night, the Coast Guard suspended its active search and rescue operations and was conducting a salvage and recovery operation.

Family friends who knew Cameron are devastated to hear about the accident. It's news that many are having trouble trying to understand. 

"I was just shocked. I know he was in the Coast Guard, but this is surprising," Poole said.

The cause of that crash is still under investigation.

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