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Search Suspended for Two Missing Crew from Red Sea Knighthawk Crash

 MH-60S Knighthawk from Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 28 departs the flight deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD-3) in January.

MH-60S Knighthawk from Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 28 departs the flight deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD-3) in January.

The Navy has suspended the search for two crewmembers lost following the crash of a MH-60S Knighthawk helicopter on Sunday in the Red Sea, according to a Monday release from U.S. 5th Fleet.

“Navy officials have concluded that given the time elapsed since the incident, aircrew survivability was extremely unlikely,” according to the statement. “The location of the crash site is known, and an extensive area has been searched multiple times by various ships and aircraft.”

Three of the five crew were successfully rescued following the crash of the helicopter attached to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 6 operating from guided-missile destroyer USS William P. Lawrence (DDG-110).

The helicopter was part of the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group, currently on station in the Red Sea as a contingency force in case of military action in Syria.

The crash was not due to “hostile activity,” according to 5th Fleet.

USS Nimitz (CVN-68), William P. Lawrence, USS Princeton (CG-59), USS Shoup (DDG-86), USS Stockdale (DDG 106) and USNS Rainier (T-AOE-7) as well as MH-60S Knighthawks from HSC-6, and MH-60R Seahawks from Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 75 and one P-3 from Patrol Squadron (VP) 47 all assisted in the search and rescue effort.

The incident is under investigation and the service will likely release the identities of the missing crew on Tuesday, sources told USNI News.

Categories: Aviation, Military Personnel, News & Analysis, Surface Forces, U.S. Navy
Sam LaGrone

About Sam LaGrone

Sam LaGrone is the editor of USNI News. He has covered legislation, acquisition and operations for the Sea Services since 2009 and spent time underway with the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and the Canadian Navy.