In this historical photo from the U.S. space agency, Astronaut John L. Swigert Jr., command module pilot, is lifted aboard a helicopter in a Billy Pugh helicopter rescue net while astronaut James A. Lovell Jr., commander, awaits his turn. Astronaut Fred W. Haise, Jr., lunar module pilot, is already aboard the helicopter.
In the life raft with Lovell, and in the water are several U.S. Navy underwater demolition team swimmers, who assisted in the recovery operations. The crew was taken to the U.S.S. Iwo Jima, prime recovery ship, several minutes after the Apollo 13 spacecraft splashed down at 12:01:44 pm CST on April 17, 1970.
Each weekday, SPACE.com looks back at the history of spaceflight through photos (archive).