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Coast Guard: Pilot rescued after ejecting into ocean

WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, N.C. — Authorities say a pilot one person was rescued in the Atlantic Ocean off Wrightsville Beach Friday after a pilot parachutinged from a AV-8B Harrier what they believe was a Harrier jet as it went down in flames. 

"The pilot was rescued by an H-60 Seahawk from Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 22 at approximately 5:28 p.m," according to a Marine Corps statement. The pilot, who is with Marine Attack Squadron 542, Marine Aircraft Group 14, 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing, is listed as being in stable condition at Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune.

Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Adam Sansoucie says a hotel guest saw a person eject as the aircraft went down in flames shortly aroundbefore 5 p.m..

When Coast Guard rescuers arrived on the scene, they found that a Navy aircraft with two swimmers had picked up the pilot and hoisted him into the helicopter. Sansoucie says it's unclear if 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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