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Lakenheath/Norfolk: Tributes on social media name one of the servicemen killed in helicopter crash as Captain Sean Ruane

PUBLISHED: 17:59 08 January 2014 | UPDATED: 17:59 08 January 2014

RAF Lakenheath main gate

Photo: Sonya Duncan

RAF Lakenheath main gate Photo: Sonya Duncan

Archant © 2013

Tributes have been paid online to one of four US servicemen believed to have died in the helicopter crash on the north Norfolk coast last night.

Captain Sean Ruane is said to have been an experienced pilot, but it remains unclear whether he was at the controls of the Pave Hawk helicopter that came down on a marsh near Cley-next-the-Sea last night.

Based at RAF Lakenheath with US Airforce 48th Fighter Wing, he leaves behind wife Rachel and their young son Liam.

His cousin Brian Meyer tweeted: “My cousin died in a helicopter crash tonight. Pretty tore up about this.

“Everyone: thanks for all the kindness. I’ll pass it along to his wife and child when we see each other soon.”

Mateo Spencer wrote: “Rest in Peace to my friend Sean Ruane, aircraft pilot downed in a crash in England today.”

Mrs Ruane described her husband as “outgoing and dedicated to others” on a wedding website at the time of their marriage in July 2011.

She said: “Sean is a pilot in the Airforce and he flies Pavehawk Rescue Helicopters.

“I am so proud of what he does and that he has chosen to serve our country.

“Sean is outgoing and loves to spend time with his friends and family. His dedication to others is one of his best attributes. There are very few men like him.

“I consider myself very blessed because Sean is my perfect match and we have so much to look forward to.”

Authorities have said that the bodies of those killed in the crash are unlikely to be recovered until tomorrow.

A press conference has been called at RAF Lakenheath for tomorrow morning with 48th Fighter Wing Commander Colonel Kyle Robinson.

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The Orwell Bridge is now expected to remain open on Thursday after the threat of high winds overnight eased.

Dog owners are being warned after a second pet died on the region’s coast in just over a fortnight – this time on Felixstowe beach.

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