Home / National News / Navy Helicopter Crashes in Atlantic; Two Dead, One Missing


(WASHINGTON) — The Navy confirmed the death of two of the four crewmembers rescued from the Atlantic Ocean Tuesday when their MH-53E “Sea Dragon” helicopter crashed 20 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach, Via. The search continues for a fifth crew member who remains unaccounted for in the frigid waters of the Atlantic.

Mike Maus, a spokesman for Naval Air Forces Atlantic, confirmed the death of the first rescued crewmember to ABC News. The Navy confirmed the death of a second rescued crewmember later Wednesday.

As for the status of the other two crewmembers, the Navy says they are in stable condition and being treated at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital.

Earlier, Naval Air Forces Atlantic spokesman Cmdr. Mike Kafka said that the MH-53E helicopter was on a routine training mission with another MH-53 E helicopter at 11 a.m. when it “made an emergency water landing in the Atlantic Ocean about 20 miles east of the Fort Story/Virginia beach area.”

When the helicopter went down the other MH-53E helicopter remained overhead and recovered four of the five crew members aboard the downed helicopter. Those survivors were then flown to the hospital.

Other Navy helicopters and Coast Guard vessels have responded to the area for a search and rescue for the missing crew member.

Kafka, a spokesman with Naval Air Forces Atlantic, said the helicopter belonged to the MH-14 helicopter squadron based at Naval Station Norfolk Chambers Field.

The MH-53E is a variant of the CH-53 heavy lift helicopter that is used as a minesweeper. The CH-53’s are the largest helicopters in the U.S. military’s inventory.

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