Military officials are investigating after an unmanned helicopter crashed into the side of USS Charleston Tuesday morning, according to the Commander of the U.S. Third Fleet.
The incident happened shortly after the aircraft MQ-8B Fire Scout took off from the ship at about 3:40 a.m., the Third Fleet said in a statement on Tuesday. The helicopter, which is 31.7 feet long and roughly 10 feet tall, was not recovered after it fell into the sea.
Despite damage to a safety net on the ship and a strike to the hull, USS Charleston was able to safely operate after the crash, officials said. The damage is being assessed and seems to have occurred in an area above the waterline.
The ship will continue operations in the Western Pacific. No injuries were reported in connection to the crash.
The Fire Scout was assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 21 based out of Naval Air Station North Island and was assigned to Charleston as part of its current mission.
It is unclear what caused the incident. The investigation is ongoing.