VLADIVOSTOK, July 23 (Itar-Tass) —— A US fighter F-16, which was on a flight from Japan to Alaska on July 22, crashed in the Pacific in the Russian exclusive economic zone in the area controlled by the North-Eastern Border Guard Service of the Federal Security Service Coast Guard, the press service of the Russian Border Guard Service reported on Monday.
The fighter crashed about 185 nautical miles away from the eastern coast of the Northern Kurile island Simushir, the Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk maritime rescue coordination sub-centre reported.
The local maritime rescue sub-centre in the Kamchatka Territory reported at about 20:30 local time (12:30 Moscow time) on July 22 in the North-Eastern Border Guard Service of the Federal Security Service Coast Guard that the airplane is in distress off the Northern Kuriles in the Pacific. The Sakhalin Coast Guard department confirmed this report. The Japanese Coast Guard received a report later that an airplane, which was on a flight from Japan to Alaska, splashed down in the foresaid area. The type of the airplane, the country of origin, the flight mission and the number of people onboard the jet were not reported.
The command of the FSB Coast Guard Border Service dispatched a border patrol vessel in the presumed air crash area for the search. This border patrol vessel has been in 16 hours of crossing from the air crash area. Later it became clear that the US fighter F-16 splashed down in emergency. The patrol boat Hokuo Maru belonging to the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries saved a pilot of the fighter.
The causes of the incident were not reported. Before the emergency splashdown the pilot of the US fighter managed to eject. The command of the Russian Border Guard Service informed the headquarters of US Coast Guard District 17 about the air crash through the international information exchange system.
The crashed US fighter F-16 was based at the US air base Misawa, which is situated in the northern part of the Japanese island Honshu, Itar-Tass reported from Tokyo on July 22.