Navy search-and-rescue underway for five sailors missing after helicopter crash

One crewmember rescued, several still unaccounted for

John Bowden
Wednesday 01 September 2021 18:05
<p>A MH-60S Seahawk helicopter, like the one pictured, went down off the coast of San Diego late Tuesday afternoon. </p>

A MH-60S Seahawk helicopter, like the one pictured, went down off the coast of San Diego late Tuesday afternoon.

The US Navy launched a search-and-rescue mission on Tuesday after a MH-60S Seahawk helicopter went down off the coast of San Diego late in the afternoon.

A spokesperson for the Navy’s Pacific Fleet told The Independent on Wednesday that five crew members remained missing after the crash, which occurred around 4.30 in the afternoon, local time. One crew member had been rescued as of Wednesday morning.

A statement released on Twitter also indicated that the US Coast Guard was assisting in the search-and-rescue operation.

“Search and rescue operations are ongoing with multiple Coast Guard and Navy air and surface assets. Abraham Lincoln is homeported in San Diego,” said the US Pacific Fleet in a tweet late Tuesday evening.

The helicopter had departed from the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln, and was conducting “routine flight operations” when the incident occurred, according to the Navy.

A statement from the third fleet specified that the crash took place “approximately 60 nautical miles off the coast of San Diego”.

While rare, accidents during “routine” flight missions are not unheard of. In 2014, two crewmembers of a MH-53E “Sea Dragon” helicopter died after the craft crashed off the coast of Virginia Beach.

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