5 Navy sailors died in a helicopter crash outside of San Diego. (Photo Credit: USNI)
Five sailors aboard the MH-60S helicopter went missing on August 31st, 2021 around 4:30 p.m., after a crash on the USS Abraham Lincoln near San Diego, California.
An unexpected turn during routine flight operations caused the helicopter to crash into the Pacific Ocean approximately 60 nautical miles off the coast.
There were six crew members aboard the helicopter, one was recovered from the sea and in stable condition while the other five were still considered missing.
After 72 hours, search and rescue shifted to recovery operations. The crews that were involved in the search and rescue were “Coast Guard District 11, USS Abraham Lincoln (CNV 72), USS Cincinnati (LCS-20), and helicopter squadrons from the U.S. Pacific Fleet Helicopter sea Combat Wing and Helicopter Maritime Strike Wing” said Sam LaGrone, USNI News.
In the afternoon of September 1st, members from the Navy contacted the mother of one of the missing crew members and exclaimed that her child was found and in safety. Soon after what she thought was great news, they contacted her again explaining that they were misinformed and that the members that were recused were the sailors on the ship that were injured from the take off the helicopter and that her child was still lost at sea.
Five days after the initial crash, the Navy reported that the search and rescue was officially over and the five sailors in the crash were presumed dead and lost at sea.
“We are deeply saddened by the loss of five Sailors and those injured following the MH-60S helicopter tragedy off the coast of Southern California,’ said Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday, Daily Mail.
No further details have been released pertaining to the incident. An investigation is under way while they are still unsure of cause of the crash.
The sailors were: Lt. Bradley Foster, Lt. Paul R. Fridley, James P. Buriak, Sarah F. Burns, and Bailey J. Tucker.