The search for four aviators missing since their two fighter jets collided Friday morning off Big Sur has ended unsuccessfully. The Coast Guard called off the search for the Navy officers yesterday evening, citing sea and weather conditions and the length of time that had passed since the pilots were reported missing.
The US Navy identified the missing as 31-year-old Lieutenant Stephen Nevarez of New Orleans; 30-year-old Lieutenant Joel Korkowski of Phoenix; 27-year-old Lieutenant Matthew Shubzda of Dallas; and 26-year-old Lieutenant Stephen Benson of Virginia Beach, Virginia.
The water where the Navy F-18s crashed during a training exercise is about 11-thousand-500 feet deep. The pilots were based at Lemoore Naval Air Station, near Fresno. The cause of the crash is under investigation.