One Dead, One Missing, and Three Injured in Navy Helicopter Crash off Virginia Beach
“One crew member is dead and another remains missing after a Norfolk, Va.-based US Navy helicopter and its five-man crew went into the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Virginia Beach this morning. Four crew members of the [Sikorsky] MH-53E, which is assigned to Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron 14, were pulled from the water and transported to a Norfolk-area hospital, a Coast Guard spokesman said. The Navy announced the death of one crew member via Twitter; neither Navy nor Coast Guard spokesmen would provide any information on the condition of the other three who were rescued. The US Coast Guard cutter Shearwater and two Navy MH-60s Seahawk helicopters from Helicopter Sea Combat Support Squadron 28 are searching for the fifth crew member, according to a Navy news release issued Wednesday afternoon. The MH-53E was operating with another MH-53 at about 11 a.m. Eastern before making a distress call and an emergency water landing approximately 20 nautical miles off Virginia Beach, Naval Air Forces Atlantic spokesman Cmdr. Mike Kafka said. ‘The Coast Guard initially rescued two of the crew and dropped a life raft to two others, who have since also been rescued,’ Kafka said. ‘One crew member remains missing, and two Coast Guard and Virginia Beach police craft are on station continuing the search.’” (Source: http://www.defensenews.com/article/20140108/DEFREG02/301080021/1-Dead-1-Missing-After-US-Navy-Helo-Crash?odyssey=nav%7Chead).
“After the incident was reported at approximately 11 a.m., another Navy air crew dropped a life raft to the people in the water, Coast Guard spokesman Nyx Cangemi said. About 45 minutes later, four people were hoisted from the water and taken to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital. ‘I saw a big Navy helicopter land here and it landed really quick and fast,’ Chris Goetz told CNN affiliate WAVY at the hospital. ‘They took two guys in on the stretchers and immediately took back off and came back maybe five minutes later and had two more guys all on stretchers.’ The Navy said in a prepared statement that the Coast Guard cutter Shearwater and two MH-60S helicopters were conducting a search-and-rescue effort for the missing person near Fort Story.” (Source: http://www.cnn.com/2014/01/08/us/navy-craft-down/index.html).
“In 2012, two MH-53Es assigned to HM-15 suffered separate mishaps in the Middle East — a crash southwest of Muscat, Oman, in July that killed two crew members and a hard landing after an engine failure on takoff in August at Bahrain International Airport. The unit’s commanding officer and command master chief were fired in September of that year.” (Source: http://www.navytimes.com/article/20140108/NEWS/301080017/1-dead-1-missing-after-Navy-helo-crash-off-Va-Beach).