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One Rescued, Five Injured, Five Missing in Carrier-Based Heli Crash

mh-60s
An MH-60S conducts an underway replenishment lift on the deck of USS Abraham Lincoln (USN file image)

Published Sep 1, 2021 2:00 PM by The Maritime Executive

A U.S. Navy helicopter has crashed into the sea off San Diego during flight ops aboard a carrier, U.S. Pacific Fleet reported on Wednesday, injuring personnel on deck and leaving multiple flight crewmembers missing. 

The MH-60S went down about 60 nm offshore at about 1630 hours on Tuesday afternoon, Pacific Fleet said. A search and rescue effort with multiple Navy and Coast Guard assets began immediately. As of Tuesday night, the Navy reported, one member of the flight crew had been rescued, and search efforts continue for the remaining five members.

The crash occurred while the helicopter was operating aboard the carrier USS Abraham Lincoln, Pacific Fleet said in an update Wednesday. The aircraft, attached to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 8, was "operating on deck" before crashing into the sea. 

Five additional sailors aboard USS Abraham Lincoln were injured by the crash. Two were medevaced to shore for delivery to a higher level of care, and the other three sustained "minimal injuries" and stayed on board. 

An investigation into the cause of the casualty is under way. 

USS Abraham Lincoln is homeported in San Diego, and she recently began carrier qualification flights for new pilots after completing a six month repair availability. She is under the command of Capt. Amy N. Bauernschmidt, who became the Navy's first female carrier CO when she assumed command aboard Lincoln two weeks ago.