Navy Continues Search Efforts for Crewmembers, Helo

Story Number: NNS090521-27Release Date: 5/21/2009 9:48:00 PM
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By Third Fleet Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- The U.S. Navy continued search efforts May 21 for two crewmembers and the HH-60 Seahawk helicopter that went down at approximately 11:36 p.m. May 19 off the coast of Southern California and Mexico.

A team of experienced search and salvage specialists from Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit (EODMU) 1 departed Naval Base Point Loma early in the morning in three 11-meter rigid-hulled inflatable boats (RHIBs) to search for the helicopter using unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs).

The data collected by the UUVs is currently being analyzed to help determine follow-on salvage operations.

Three deceased crewmembers were recovered from the crash site May 20 during search and rescue operations conducted by assets from the U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard, San Diego Harbor Police, Customs and Border Protection and the Mexican Navy. There were five crewmembers on board the HH-60 conducting combat search and rescue training.

The HH-60 Seahawk helicopter went down while conducting training operations with USS Nimitz (CVN 68) during a composite training unit exercise (COMPTUEX). The helicopter was from Helicopter Anti-submarine Squadron (HS) 6 located in San Diego. HS-6 is part of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11 assigned to the USS Nimitz Carrier Strike Group (CSG). The Navy is investigating the cause of the incident.

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