San Diego-Based Navy Helicopter Crashes in Red Sea

Navy officials said the helicopter was trying to land or take-off from the San Diego-based USS William P. Lawrence

The U.S. Navy is preparing to call off the search for two San Diego-based crew members missing in the Red Sea.

A Navy helicopter rolled into the water Sunday while trying to land on the guided missile destroyer USS William P. Lawrence.

The MH-60S Knighthawk reportedly slammed onto the deck.

While the cause of the crash is under investigation it’s believed the destroyer was buffeted by a bow wave that caused the rear deck to suddenly pitch upward as the helicopter attempted to land,
according to NBC News Chief Pentagon Correspondent Jim Miklaszewski.

There were five people inside the helicopter at the time of the crash. Three were accounted for and stable.

The helicopter, assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 6 based at NAS North Island — nicknamed the HSC Indians — went down in the Central Red Sea at about noon local time during a routine flight, according to an official with the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet.

Jordan Kelley, who lives in Coronado and knows several men in the group, was stunned to hear the news.

"I don't know, my stomach dropped," he said.

Kelley's cousin used to be in the group and came to know some of them very well.

"I went to concerts with them and they came over for football games. it could be anyone," he said.

While he doesn't know who is missing, he's very worried for them.

The crash was not a result of any hostile activity, the official said.

USS William P. Lawrence was deployed with the USS Nimitz Carrier Strike Group in January, Navy officials said.

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