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Five Crew Members in Navy Helicopter Crash Declared Dead


Last updated 9/4/2021 at 11:19am

SAN DIEGO - The five missing crew members of a U.S. Navy helicopter that crashed into the sea off the coast of San Diego on Tuesday were

declared dead today, the U.S. Navy said.

The U.S. 3rd Fleet on Saturday shifted from search and rescue operations to a recovery operation.

One sailor aboard the MH-60S Knighthawk was pulled from the ocean after the aircraft went down roughly 60 nautical miles from shore. The crash

occurred as its six-member crew was engaged in routine flight operations off the deck of the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln, which is homeported in San Diego.

The identities of the five sailors will be withheld for 24 hours after their next of kin have been notified, Navy public affairs said.

The rescued sailor and two others who were hurt in the accident while aboard the San Diego-based carrier were taken ashore for medical care in stable

condition. Another three personnel on the ship suffered minor injuries and remained aboard, officials said.

A military investigation is underway into what caused the crash of the aircraft, which was assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 8 at Naval

Air Station North Island. Navy officials said only that it ``was operating on deck before crashing into the sea.''

The transition to recovery operations comes after more than 72 hours of rescue attempts with 34 search and rescue flights, more than 170 hours of

flight time, with five search helicopters, and constant surface vessel search, the Navy said.

Units involved in the effort included the Coast Guard, the Abraham Lincoln carrier, the USS Cincinnati, and helicopter squadrons from the U.S.

Pacific Fleet Helicopter Sea Combat Wing and Helicopter Maritime Strike Wing.

Copyright 2021, City News Service, Inc.

CNS-09-04-2021 09:33


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