A helicopter with a television camera team aboard crashed into the sea off Newport, Rhode Island on Thursday (22 August), killing a 37-year-old electrician and seriously injuring his two companions.
GV Spectat??? fleet (AERIAL)
GV Start ???at and start gun (???ERIAL)
GV Sea lev??? Southern ???oss with Franco in background
GV Southern Cross on first leg
AERIAL GV Committee boat and crashed helicopter
SCU Crashed helicopter and two rescue boats
CU Rescue efforts
CU Rescue efforts continue
SV Reseuere working on helicopter
AERIAL GV Southern Cross ???tinuee race
Initials BB/0055 MF/PN/BB/0107
SPORT: YACHT RACING
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Background: A helicopter with a television camera team aboard crashed into the sea off Newport, Rhode Island on Thursday (22 August), killing a 37-year-old electrician and seriously injuring his two companions.
The team had been flying at about 200 feet (70 meters), getting shots of the 12-meter Australian yacht Southern Cross, which crossed the finish line well ahead of the French yacht France in the first elimination race preceding the America's Cup series.
The helicopter then crashed into the sea in Rhode Island Sound on the course perimeter, hitting the water only about 50 yards (meters) from spectators in small boats.
Several spectators and newsmen dived into the water to help rescue the trio, who were taken aboard coastguard vessels and pleasure boats.
The dead man was Robert Oddo, who worked for the Columbia Broadcasting System. Cameraman Delos Hall, aged 38 and the helicopter pilot, John Wallace, 42 were the two injured.
SYNOPSIS: The first of a best-of-seven series of elimination races between the Australian yacht Southern Cross and the France yacht France started without incident off the coast of Newport, Rhode Island in the United States on Thursday. The yachts were competing in preliminary races to establish which of them will challenge the United States in America's Cup next month.
On a scorching hot day, with only a slight breeze, the Southern Cross was ahead of her rival on the first leg and was being filmed by a television camera crew from a helicopter which was flying at about two hundred feet. Then came tragedy -- the helicopter crashed int the sea in Rhode Island Sound on the yacht course perimeter, hitting the water only about fifty yards from spectators watching the race from small boats.
Several spectators and newsmen dived into the water without hesitation to help rescue the occupants of the helicopter. Unfortunately their efforts were to no avail for the thirty-seven-year-old electrician in the television team ... Robert Oddo, from Chicago, who was dead by the time he reached hospital. The two other members of the crew, cameraman Delos Hall aged thirty-eight and the pilot, John Wallace, aged forty-two, were both critically injured.
While the rescue work was in progress Southern Cross reached the first weather mark over two minutes shead of the France and went on to win the race by a comfortable margin.