Navy resumes search and recovery operations at helicopter crash site

The Navy has resumed their search and recovery efforts at the crash site of the MH-53E helicopter that went down last Wednesday approximately 18 miles off the coast of Cape Henry.

The operations were temporarily suspended Friday when weather conditions deteriorated. They resumed Sunday when conditions improved.

The USNS Grasp returned to the site with divers from Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit 2 (MDSU 2) and patrol boats from Riverine Squadron 2 (RIVRON 2) to provide area security.

The Navy announced Monday that the search area has been expanded by sailors from MDSU 2. They are using a Remus Unmanned Underwater Vehicle (UUC) for high-resolution mapping of the crash site.

One crewmember of the five onboard the helicopter when it crashed has still not been found. The other four crewmembers were rescued and taken to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital. Two were pronounced dead at the hospital from their injuries. The two other rescued crewmembers have since been released from the hospital.

The crew members were all assigned to Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron (HM) 14 based at Norfolk Naval Station Chambers Field. They were flying an MH-53E “Sea Dragon” on a routine mine countermeasure training exercise when the accident happened.

The cause of the crash is being investigated.

This Saturday, CrossFit Unparalleled will hold a fundraiser to help the families of those affected by this tragedy.

The Vanguard 543 Fundraiser/Memorial WOD will be held on Jan. 18th starting at 8 a.m. For more information, click here. 

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