- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 9, 2014

Search-and-rescue operations were under way off the coast of Virginia on Thursday for a crew member who went missing when the U.S. Navy helicopter he rode on with four others crashed in the ocean.

The other four were initially rescued, but two of them died at the hospital, the Coast Guard told The Associated Press. The five were aboard a MH-53E helicopter.

The MH-53E helicopter is a craft that’s no longer in production, Time reported. It’s used for airborne mine countermeasures and for Navy delivery missions, and does not carry any weapons. It’s not yet clear what caused the helicopter crash, which the U.S. Navy tweeted occurred around 11 a.m. on Wednesday.

The incident occurred just one day after four service members were killed in Britain when a U.S. Air Force craft, the HH-60G Pave Hawk, crashed along England’s North Sea coast..

Sky News reported the four killed then were Capt. Christopher Stover, Capt. Sean Ruane, Technical Sgt. Dale Mathews and Staff Sgt. Afton Ponce.

Col. Kyle Robinson, commander of the 48th Fighter Wing — where the crew served — said in a statement reported by Sky News: “I am deeply saddened by the loss of these airmen. They’ve made the ultimate sacrifice while training to save the lives of others.”

He then spoke directly to the families of the victims: “As a husband and father myself, I can’t imagine how heartbroken you must be. We are thinking of you.”





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