Navy recovers 5 bodies, wreckage from helicopter crash off San Diego coast

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SAN DIEGO — The U.S. Navy announced Tuesday the recovery of wreckage from the Aug. 31 Navy helicopter crash off the San Diego coast that killed five sailors.

Five sailors were declared dead in early September after several days of searching by the Navy and U.S. Coast Guard yielded no signs of the missing sailors. The effort shifted from search and rescue operations to a recovery mission.

The wreckage of the MH-60S Seahawk helicopter, along with five human remains, was recovered Oct. 8 approximately 60 nautical miles off the coast of San Diego while conducting routine operations with USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), according to the Naval Air Forces. The Naval Sea Systems Command’s Supervisor of Salvage and Diving (SUPSALV), embarked on the multi-purpose service vessel HOS Bayou, made the discovery from a depth of approximately 5,300 feet.

The Bayou arrived at Naval Air Station North Island on Oct. 10, according to Navy officials, and the remains recovered from the crash were transferred to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware for identification.

One sailor aboard the MH-60S Seahawk was pulled from the ocean after the aircraft went down while two others who had been aboard the San Diego-based carrier when they were injured were taken ashore for medical care. Another three crew members on the ship suffered minor injuries and remained on the vessel.

An investigation into the incident is ongoing.

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