A DESPERATE search is underway for four missing crew members of a Spanish military helicopter, which crashed last night.

The Super Puma helicopter crashed during a military exercise near the Canary Islands, off the north west coast of Africa.

One crew member has been found, and the rescue attempt for the four remaining includes naval, police and maritime rescue services.

The cause of the crash is as yet unknown.

“They were doing a regular rescue by winching exercise when it crashed,” said an air force spokesman.

The search is focussed on an area 25 nautical miles south west of the Fuerteventura island.