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Whidbey aircrew safe, Prowler lost in Persian Gulf

Four Prowler aviators from Whidbey Island were rescued unharmed from the Persian Gulf after their EA-6B went into the sea during routine flight operations Sunday.

The Prowler was a “Black Raven” from VAQ-135, attached to the carrier USS Nimitz, according to 5th Fleet Public Affairs in Bahrain. No names were released, and Whidbey Island Naval Air Station public affairs could not comment. The crew members ejected at approximately 11 a.m and were rescued by anti-submarine helicopters.

VAQ-135 has been in the Persian Gulf with the Nimitz battle group since April in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.

This is the second time during the Operations that a Prowler has been lost in a non-combat situation.

In early February a Prowler from training squadron VAQ-129 was lost when it rolled off the flight deck of the carrier USS John C. Stennis during training, off the coast of Southern California. The three crew members in that incident managed to eject safely and unharmed.

The Prowler was conducting routine carrier qualification training when it lost brake control following an arrested landing and rolled off the flight deck.

Sunday’s incident is under investigation.

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