USS Abraham Lincoln

Navy Discloses Some Details About Cause of Helicopter Crash That Killed 5 Sailors

On Aug. 31 at about 4:30 p.m., the NH-60S helicopter was conducting routine flight operations aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln when it crashed into the sea approximately 60 nautical miles off the coast of San Diego, California

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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
In this Sept. 2018 file photo, MH-60 Sea Hawk helicopters depart the USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) in the Atlantic Ocean.

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.

The missing crew members aboard a Navy helicopter that crashed off the coast of San Diego Tuesday have been declared dead by the Navy. NBC 7's Omari Fleming reports.

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.


Check back here for updates on this breaking news story.

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