On Tuesday afternoon, Aug. 31, an MH-60S helicopter was functioning on the deck of the navy ship USS Abraham Lincoln when it fell from the battleship into the ocean.
Five sailors died in the helicopter crash off the coast of San Diego. All have been identified, according to the U.S. Navy.
Six sailors were injured, one on the helicopter and five on the ship, in addition to the five fatalities.
The names of the dead victims are Lt. Bradley A. Foster, 29, a pilot from Oakhurst, California; Lt. Paul R. Fridley, 28, a pilot from Annandale, Virginia; Naval Air Crewman (Helicopter) 2nd Class James P. Buriak, 31, from Salem, Virginia; Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Sarah F. Burns, 31, from Severna Park, Maryland; Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Bailey J. Tucker, 21, from St. Louis, Missouri.
“The U.S. Navy has declared the five missing crew members of this week’s MH-60S helicopter crash in the Pacific deceased, and shifted from search and rescue efforts to recovery operations today.” the US Pacific Fleet Tweeted in an announcement on Saturday, Sept. 4.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with their families, friends and shipmates,” the message continued.
According to the New York Post, which cited Navy officials, the wounded were in a stable condition on Saturday, Sept. 4.
“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,” was included in the rescue mission, said the Navy.
The Coast Guard, the Lincoln, the USS Cincinnati, and two helicopter units contributed to the search.
The cause of the crash roughly 70 miles off the coast of San Diego is still under investigation. However, as sailors on the carrier were hurt questions arose about whether the helicopter or portions of it slammed the Lincoln, according to the Stars and Stripes.
Ground staff on the carrier nearby and other staff working on deck are present when helicopters take off and land on the ship.
The incident happened during ordinary flight operations, according to the Navy.
Military support, humanitarian crisis assistance, and search and rescue are all duties of the MH-60S helicopter. It normally has a crew of four and belongs to the Navy’s Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 8.