SAN DIEGO – The five crew members missing from a U.S. Navy helicopter that crashed at sea off the coast of San Diego on Tuesday have been
declared dead today, the US Navy said.
The U.S. 3rd Fleet shifted from search and rescue operations to recovery on Saturday.
A sailor aboard the MH-60S Knighthawk was pulled out of the ocean after the plane crashed about 60 nautical miles from shore. The crash
occurred while its six-member crew was engaged in routine flight operations from the flight 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 are informed, Navy Public Affairs said.
The rescued sailor and two others injured in the crash aboard the San Diego-based carrier were taken ashore for medical treatment at a stable.
state. Three other members of the ship sustained minor injuries and remained on board, officials said.
A military investigation is underway into the causes of the crash of the aircraft, which was assigned to Helicopter Combat Squadron 8 at sea at Naval
Air Station North Island. Navy officials only said it “operated 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 a constant search for surface vessels, the Navy said.
Units involved in the effort included the Coast Guard, the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln, the USS Cincinnati, and helicopter squadrons from the United States.
The Pacific Fleet Helicopter Sea Combat Wing and the Helicopter Sea Attack Wing.
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