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Update: Canadian Navy helicopter goes down in Ionian Sea

HMCS Fredericton
Illustration: NATO photo of frigate HMCS Fredericton

A Royal Canadian Navy helicopter operating from frigate HMCS Fredericton went missing during a NATO exercise in the Ionian Sea on April 29.

The Canadian Armed Forces said the CH-148 Cyclone helicopter had been involved in an accident.

A multinational search and rescue effort in waters between Greece and Italy is still underway.

Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau confirmed the accident adding that he has spoken to Canadian defense minister Harjit Sajjan and that updates would be provided as soon as possible.

Frigate HMCS Fredericton is underway with NATO’s Standing Maritime Group (SNMG2) and has taken part in a series of exercises in the Central Mediterranean and Aegean Seas over the past two weeks. The frigate’s deployment is part of the wider Canadian operation Reassurance.

The CH-148 Cyclone is a new helicopter in Royal Canadian Navy service, replacing the CH-124 Sea King as Canada’s main ship-borne maritime helicopter.

The Cyclone completed its operational deployment aboard a Canadian Navy ship in 2018 after first starting shipboard trials in 2010.

The helicopter is designed for surface and subsurface surveillance and control, utility and search and rescue missions.

Update: The Canadian prime minister confirmed in a media conference that one crew member was found deceased while five more are missing. The previous version of our report incorrectly indicated that the helicopter went down in the Mediterranean Sea.