Leone is recovering from a broken arm and leg at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. The Coast Guard says his injuries aren't life-threatening, while a memorial service for the three who didn't make it is being scheduled for sometime next week.
"It hits people hard, and they're our friends and our family members really," said Lt. Joshua Tabor at Air Station Sitka, a colleague of the lost crewmen. "We fly with them on a daily basis, and we get real close as a crew, so emotionally it's very tough on the crew."
Coast Guardsmen stationed at Sitka are a tight-knit crew. For friends left behind, the news was hard to take.
"Lieutenant Kreuger, the pilot, I was good friends with and we were stationed at Cape Cod, Massachusetts," Tabor said. "Prior to being in Sitka, we grew up about 45 minutes away from each other."
Tabor says the men were a big part of life in Sitka, and their loss will be felt far beyond their colleagues. He says Kreuger will be badly missed.
"Fantastic, exactly what you would expect: a great husband and a great dad to his three kids, and very, very active here in the local community," Tabor said. "He coaches softball, he was active in the Boy Scouts -- he really was somebody who was obviously going to go far, and just really a great friend."
Gov. Sean Parnell ordered flags flown at half-mast Friday in honor of the lost crewmen.
"On behalf of all Alaskans, Sandy and I extend our heartfelt condolences to the families, friends, and colleagues of the Coast Guardsmen from Air Station Sitka who were lost in the crash near James Island, Washington," Parnell said in a statement. "These men were devoted to their jobs, and we are grateful for their dedicated service to our state and country."
Coast Guard crews tried to salvage the wreckage Thursday, but had to put off their efforts due to fog. They also have yet to examine the flight data recorder, which could contain crucial information.
Contact Jason Lamb at firstname.lastname@example.org and Rebecca Palsha at email@example.com