2 bodies recovered after helicopter crashes into Chesapeake Bay

CHESAPEAKE BAY -- The bodies of two men were recovered after their helicopter crashed in Maryland, police said.

The helicopter went down Saturday in Chesapeake Bay, Maryland Natural Resources police said. Authorities identified the victims as Maryland residents Charles Knight, 38, of Mount Airy, and Matt Clarke, 36, of Pasadena. Knight was the pilot and Clarke a passenger, police said.

The two went missing Saturday when the helicopter crashed around 12:30 p.m. about a mile south of Kent Island, Maryland, police said. Authorities found the wreckage in about 55 feet of water Saturday evening.

The cause of the crash is unknown. Natural Resources Police investigators will be working with the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration to recover the wreckage, police said.

A brother of one of the men was "boating in the vicinity" when he saw the crash and notified the Coast Guard, said Corinne Zilnicki, a Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class.

First responders found debris in the area but had not located the men earlier Saturday, said Scott Wheatley, assistant chief with the Queen Anne's County Department of Emergency Services. After several hours searching for the men, crews suspended operations as weather conditions worsened.

Capt. Brian Albert with the Maryland Natural Resources Police had said the search will resume Sunday morning.

Rescue boats from the Coast Guard's station in Annapolis, a dive team with the Anne Arundel County Fire Department and several other agencies assisted in the search for the missing men.

The crash took place near Bloody Point in Queen Anne's County, south of the Bay Bridge. The Bloody Point Hole is the deepest part of the bay at 174 feet below sea level and approximately a mile west-southwest off the southern tip of Kent Island, according to the Maryland Geological Survey.

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