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Pilot rescued after U.S. jet crash in Japan

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 11:37 AM EDT, Fri July 27, 2012
An F-16 Fighting Falcon touches down April 8, 2011, at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska.
An F-16 Fighting Falcon touches down April 8, 2011, at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: The cause of the incident will be investigated
  • The F-16 crashes about 200 miles northeast of Hokkaido Island
  • The pilot is the sole person aboard, military officials say

(CNN) -- A pilot who ejected before a U.S. fighter jet crashed into the waters off northern Japan on Sunday was rescued and was in stable condition, military officials said.

The pilot was the sole person aboard an F-16 Fighting Falcon, which crashed about 200 miles northeast of Hokkaido Island.

Japanese Coast Guard, Japan Self Defense Forces, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Navy and civilian vessels were among those agencies that worked to retrieve the pilot, now aboard a U.S. commercial vessel.

"We are thankful for the support from our Japanese friends and other agencies committed to ensuring the safe recovery of our airman," said Col. Al Wimmer, 35th Fighter Wing vice commander.

"The tireless efforts of everyone involved ensured a successful recovery," Wimmer added. "We are extremely grateful for their assistance and humbled by the rapid and skilled response. We are proud to be a part of such an effective alliance and send our most heartfelt thanks to all those involved."

The pilot was not identified.

The cause of the incident will be investigated. The craft was en route to North America when the crash occurred.

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