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May 1 2020

Helicopter crash while in support of Standing NATO Forces

NORTHWOOD, United Kingdom – Commander of NATO Maritime Command, Vice Admiral Keith Blount expresses his condolences after a Canadian military helicopter crashed while operating in the Ionian Sea, between Greece and Italy on 29 April 2020.

“The end of this week has brought with it the tragic news of a helicopter crash from one of our NATO warships in the eastern Mediterranean. As one NATO family our sympathy, and prayers are extended to all involved, but particularly the family and friends of those who were on board the helicopter and the entire ship’s company of the Fredericton. Times like this remind us of the perils of operating at sea and the courage and commitment of those who do. With the equally resolute support of our families and loved ones we navigate these challenges, but it is never easy,” said Vice Admiral Blount.

Our sympathy, and prayers are extended to all involved, but particularly the family and friends of those who were on board the helicopter and the entire ship’s company of the Fredericton

A Sikorsky CH-148 Cyclone helicopter based on the Canadian frigate Fredericton crashed while operating in waters between Greece and Italy on 29 April 2020.

Canada confirmed that 1 life was lost, and 5 other crew members were still missing on Thursday.

A search continues with SNMG2 ships on scene (Flagship ITS Virginio Fasan, TCG Salihreis and HMCS Fredericton), two organic helicopters (One SH-70 and Two SH-90), rigid-hulled inflatable boats conducting the search for remaining five missing. ITS Carabinieri joined the SNMG2 units during the search operations. Two P-72 aircraft from the Italian Air Force 72th Squadron based in Sigonella Air Base (Sicily), as well as one SH-90 from the Italian Navy FREMM “ITS Carabiniere”, one SH-70 from the Hellenic Fleet and one US Navy P-8 Poseidon also contributed to the search, as well as one C130 from Hellenic Fleet on standby 15 minutes.

HMCS Fredericton is a unit of Standing NATO Maritime Group Two (SNMG2), along with ITS Fasan (Italy), and TCG Salihreis (Turkey).

The incident is currently under investigation.

Story by Public Affairs Office at MARCOM

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