US Navy declares 5 missing sailors dead after helicopter crash
The U.S. Navy has declared the five missing crewmembers of an MH-60S helicopter crash deceased.
The US Navy’s MH-60S helicopter, embarked aboard USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), crashed into the sea while conducting routine flight operations off the San Diego coast. The accident happened on 31 August, and the navy performed search and rescue operations in the last couple of days.
Meanwhile, the U.S. 3rd Fleet has shifted from search and rescue efforts to recovery operations.
The transition from search and rescue efforts to recovery operations came after more than 72 hours of coordinated rescue efforts encompassing 34 search and rescue flights, over 170 hours of flight time, with 5 search helicopters and constant surface vessel search.
Units involved in the effort included assets from Coast Guard District 11, USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), USS Cincinnati (LCS 20), and helicopter squadrons from the U.S. Pacific Fleet Helicopter Sea Combat Wing and Helicopter Maritime Strike Wing.
The names of the fallen crewmembers were revealed in a separate announcement on 5 September.
An investigation into the incident is underway, the navy’s spokesperson stated.
The MH-60S helicopter is one of the world’s most advanced maritime helicopters.
It is a multi-mission helicopter manufactured by Sikorsky Aircraft and designed to operate from frigates, destroyers, cruisers and aircraft carriers.