Navy Chopper Crashes into Sea

( – The US military carries out multiple training exercises each year, preparing for readiness and events that one hopes will never happen. Sadly, sometimes, things do go wrong during these operations. The most recent incident involved a US Navy helicopter, which plunged into the San Diego Bay.

On Thursday, January 11, six crew members were engaging in routine training, a day-into-night search and rescue mission, some of which involved dropping aircrew into the water to serve as rescue swimmers, when something went wrong. The aircraft, an MH-60R Sea Hawk, crashed into the sea with all six crew members, including two pilots, onboard. Fortunately, nobody was critically injured or died during the event.

The US Navy had a safety boat on location due to the nature of the exercise, and the airmen were able to extract themselves from the helicopter, having been trained for such a situation. A spokesperson for the US Naval Air Forces, Cmdr. Beth Teach said the crew’s prognosis was “good” and that only one person remained in the hospital as of Friday for observation.

The Navy has launched an investigation into the crash, trying to figure out what went wrong and come up with ways to ensure such an incident doesn’t occur again. Officials also want to salvage the helicopter, dragging it out from under the bay. To determine the best method, the Navy dispatched divers to complete an assessment of the wreckage below the water. They reported that there was no fuel leak, though they “placed a fuel containment boom around the crash site,” and the vessel was said to be fully intact.

The MH-60 is the branch’s primary surface warfare helicopter, used for sea and land operations, as well as a primary anti-submarine aircraft. Over the last few years, there have been a few other helicopter crashes involving the MH-60S. One in August 2021 killed five sailors and the other, which occurred in June 2022, injured its crew.

~Here’s to Our Liberty!

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