After over three days of search and rescue efforts, the US Navy declared the five missing crew members of a crashed MH-60S helicopter deceased.
The US 3rd Fleet shifted from search and rescue efforts to recovery operations on September 4.
Assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 8, the helicopter was conducting routine flight operations from USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) when it crashed into the sea approximately 60 nautical miles off the coast of San Diego at 4:30 p.m. (PST), Aug. 31.
One crewmember of the crashed helicopter was rescued shortly after the accident.
Another five sailors aboard Abraham Lincoln suffered injuries in the accident and are in stable condition. Two of the five injured sailors were transferred ashore for treatment.
The navy said it would withhold the identities of the sailors until 24 hours after their next of kin have been notified, in accordance with the service’s policy.
The transition from search and rescue efforts to recovery operations comes 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.
Units involved in the effort included assets from Coast Guard District 11, Abraham Lincoln, USS Cincinnati (LCS 20), and helicopter squadrons from the US Pacific Fleet Helicopter Sea Combat Wing and Helicopter Maritime Strike Wing.
An investigation into the incident is underway.