Search and rescue (SAR) efforts for five missing crew members continue off the coast of San Diego, California, after a US Navy-operated Sikorsky MH-60S Knighthawk crashed into the Pacific Ocean on August 31.
The twin-engine, maritime utility helicopter – BuNo unknown – was conducting routine flight operations from the USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72), which is currently homeported in San Diego. It was operating approximately 60 nautical miles off the coast of San Diego when it crashed into the sea at roughly 1630hrs (Pacific Time, PDT). There were six US Navy crew members onboard the helicopter at the time of the incident.
At 1100hrs (PDT) on August 31, the US Navy’s Commander 3rd Fleet Public Affairs office provided an update on the ongoing SAR operation. “Currently, one crew member has been rescued and search efforts continue for five additional crew members,” it said. It added that multiple air and surface assets from the US Coast Guard (USCG) and US Navy were involved in the SAR effort.
Carrier Air Wing 9 (CVW-9) is currently embarked aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln, meaning that it is likely that the MH-60S involved in this incident was assigned to the Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 14 (HSC-14) ‘Chargers’. This unit is the sole Knighthawk operator in CVW-9.