The US. Navy on Tuesday released information about the last week's helicopter crash off the San Diego Coast that caused the deaths of five sailors.
On Aug. 31 at about 4:30 p.m., an MH-60S helicopter was conducting routine flight operations aboard the deck of USS Abraham Lincoln, a Nimitz class aircraft carrier homeported at Naval Air Station North Island, on Coronado. According to the DOD, the helicopter was landing on the flight deck when it experienced "side-to-side vibrations," causing the main rotor to strike the flight deck, flipping the aircraft over the side of the ship.
The helicopter then crashed into the sea approximately 60 nautical miles off the coast of San Diego, California.
Over the weekend, the five sailors, who were declared dead on Saturday after several days of search-and-rescue operations, were identified by the Department of Defense.
The names of the five deceased Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 8 crew members are:
- Lt. Bradley A. Foster, 29, a pilot from Oakhurst, California
- Lt. Paul R. Fridley, 28, a pilot from Annandale, Virginia
- Naval Air Crewman (Helicopter) 2nd Class James P. Buriak, 31, from Salem, Virginia
- Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Sarah F. Burns, 31, from Severna Park, Maryland
- Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Bailey J. Tucker, 21, from St. Louis, Missouri
Photos: Navy Identifies 5 Sailors Killed in Helicopter Crash Off San Diego Coast
On Saturday, the Navy shifted seearch and rescue efforts to recovery operations.
U.S. Navy Third Fleet spokesperson Lt. Sam Boyle confirmed shortly after the crash that one crew member was rescued
The Navy said after more than 72 hours of coordinated rescue efforts encompassing 34 search-and-rescue flights, over 170 hours of flight time, with five search helicopters and constant surface vessel search, they transitioned from search and rescue efforts to recovery operations.
Five additional sailors aboard the Abraham Lincoln suffered injuries in the incident and are in stable condition. Two of the five Abraham Lincoln wailors were transported ashore for treatment, while the other three had minimal injuries and remained aboard the ship, the Navy said Tuesday.
“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. We stand alongside their families, loved ones, and shipmates who grieve,” said Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday.
The MH-60S helicopter typically carries a crew of about four and is used in missions including combat support, humanitarian disaster relief and search and rescue.
The Navy said an investigation into the incident is underway.
Sign up for our Breaking newsletter to get the most urgent news stories in your inbox.
Check back here for updates on this breaking news story.