San Diego, CA – January 13, 2024
In a harrowing incident during routine training, a US Navy “MH-60R Sea Hawk” helicopter crashed into San Diego Bay on Thursday around 6:40 p.m., with all six crew members miraculously surviving, according to Navy officials.
The crew, part of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 41, was undergoing training to operate the “MH-60R Sea Hawk,” the Navy’s most advanced rotary-wing maritime strike platform. The crash occurred almost two hours after sunset, prompting a swift response from a safety boat on location, aided by the Federal Fire Department.
A subsequent medical evaluation revealed that all six crew members were unharmed, marking a remarkable outcome given the nature of the crash. The Navy has launched an investigation to determine the cause of the incident.
Cmdr. Beth Teach provided details, stating, “A safety boat was on location and, with assistance from Federal Fire Department San Diego, all six crew members were pulled from the water and taken to shore.”
The “MH-60R Sea Hawk” is a twin-engine helicopter designed for various missions, including “electromagnetic warfare, surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, non-combat, and command and control operations.” It boasts capabilities such as “naval surface fire support, search and rescue, medical evacuation, logistics, intelligence, special warfare, reconnaissance, and surveillance.”
This incident recalls a similar tragedy in 2021 when another Navy twin-engine helicopter, the MH-60S, crashed off San Diego, resulting in the loss of five Navy sailors. The current incident, however, underscores the effectiveness of safety measures implemented during training exercises.
The crashed helicopter was stationed at Naval Air Station North Island, and immediate assistance was provided by another helicopter from the “U.S. Coast Guard.””Coast Guard Petty Officer Adam Stanton” confirmed their involvement, stating that they were dispatched to the scene to offer support.
As the Navy investigates the circumstances surrounding the crash, the resilience and survival of the entire crew serve as a testament to the effectiveness of safety protocols and the quick response of emergency personnel during unexpected incidents.