- Five Navy sailors have been declared dead after their helicopter crashed on August 31.
- The Navy announced that search and rescue efforts have pivoted to recovery operations.
- The sailors were “conducting routine flight operations” when the crash occurred off San Diego’s coast.
The US Navy announced Saturday that five sailors who went missing after their helicopter crashed on August 31 have been declared dead.
As of September 4, the US 3rd Fleet’s mission has pivoted from search and rescue efforts to recovery operations, the Navy said in a statement.
The MH-60S helicopter the sailors were in had been “conducting routine flight operations” when it crashed into the sea some 60 nautical miles off San Diego’s coast, the Navy said.
Initial search and rescue efforts went on for more than 72 hours and included 34 search and rescue flights, five search helicopter flights, and “constant surface vessel search.”
One crew member was rescued and was in stable condition as of September 1, The New York Times reported.
The Navy will release the sailors’ names 24 hours after their next of kin have been notified.
The helicopter had been assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 8 and was based on the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier, the Navy said.