The MH-60S Knighthawk helicopter, assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 6 from North Island Naval Air Station in Coronado, was operating from the guided-missile destroyer William Lawrence when it crashed.
Ships from the carrier Nimitz strike group are assisting in the search and rescue effort, including the San Diego-based Lawrence.
One woman whose daughter is on the Nimitz, says her heart dropped when she heard of the incident.
“Whenever I (hear) about an accident like that, I just pray right away.”
The crash was not due to hostile action, the Navy’s 5th Fleet said.
The Nimitz strike group was ordered into the Red Sea amid tension between the U.S. and Syria over the use of chemical weapons during the Syrian civil war.