[Update] Two Confirmed Dead After Navy Helicopter Crash

By MarEx 2014-01-08 16:51:00

Update: A second crewman has died following the crash this morning of a U.S. Navy MH-53E Sea Dragon helicopter in the Virginia Capes. Two crewmembers remain hospitalized at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital. One is listed in serious condition and the other has been upgraded to fair condition. The search for the fifth crewmember is continuing.

The crewmembers are all members of Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron Fourteen (HM-14) based at Norfolk Naval Station Chambers Field. They were flying a MH-53E "Sea Dragon" on a routine mine countermeasure training exercise when the accident happened.

Virginia Beach Fire Department boats have located the aircraft fuselage and tail section using their side-scan radar.

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One crew member has been confirmed dead following the crash on Wednesday morning of a U.S. Navy MH-53E Sea Dragon helicopter in the Virginia Capes.

The U.S. Coast Guard responded to the crash that occurred with five people aboard the helicopter approximately 20 miles east of Cape Henry, Va. A Navy aircrew contacted Coast Guard 5th District Command Center watchstanders at approximately 11 a.m. reporting the Sea Dragon crashed and another Navy aircrew dropped a life raft to the people in the water.

Sector watchstanders issued an urgent marine information broadcast and dispatched a crew aboard a 25-foot Response Boat - Small from Coast Guard Station Little Creek and diverted the Coast Guard Cutter Shearwater, an 87-foot patrol boat homeported in Portsmouth to assist.

At approximately 11:45 a.m., two Navy aircrews hoisted four people from the water and took them to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital. Three crew members are being medically evaluated. Their conditions are not known at this time.

The search for the fifth crew member is continuing.

The identity of the deceased crew member will not be released until 24 hours after the notification of next of kin.