Ships were again able to access Los Angeles Harbor through the Angels Gate entrance after US Coast Guard (USCG) ended the search for a missing helicopter following the discovery of the chopper’s wreckage with two bodies on board.
The victims were described as men in their 40s. They were not being officially identified but US media said they were pilot Christopher Reed and photographer Michael Justice, who was on assignment for the Port of Los Angeles.
USCG had closed that entrance to the harbour on Wednesday after eyewitnesses reported seeing the small helicopter plunge into the water near the breakwater close to San Pedro.
Following 17 hours of searching divers with the Los Angeles Port Police dive team found the wreckage of a Robinson R22 two-seater in about 20 feet of water.
Vessels and personnel from USCG and various fire and police departments had participated in the search, and sonar equipment was employed.
The men’s remains were removed from the fuselage and then the aircraft was hoisted out.
Although the Angels Gate had been closed another entrance point two miles away remained open so Port of Los Angeles operations were not affected.
The US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will examine the wreckage for clues about what caused the crash.