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Navy doing deep sea-search for sailors' remains, following helicopter crash

Sailors identified following helicopter crash.png
Posted at 4:14 PM, Sep 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-17 19:14:41-04

SAN DIEGO (AP) — The Navy is conducting a deep-sea search for the remains of five sailors and the wreckage of a Navy helicopter that spun out on an aircraft carrier off San Diego on Aug. 31 and plunged into the Pacific ocean.

The Navy launched the search Wednesday bring in sailors from its command that is specialized in undersea searches and salvage.

They will be using the ship Dominator, which uses a sonar scanner. The ship is typically used for submarine recovery missions.

The Dominator was used in 2020 to recover the remains of seven Marines and one sailor after their amphibious assault vehicle sunk off San Clemente Island off San Diego.

The helicopter is believed to be between 4,000 and 6,000 feet below the ocean’s surface, which delayed recovery efforts until the Navy could bring in specialized equipment capable of searching deep waters so far from shore.

The MH-60S helicopter was conducting routine flight operations from the USS Abraham Lincoln when it crashed into the sea roughly 60 nautical miles off the San Diego coast around 4:30 p.m. om August 31. The Navy said the helicopter was "operating on deck before crashing into the sea."

One sailor was rescued from the aircraft after the crash. Five other sailors aboard the ship were injured.