Saturday, March 8, 2014
The Associated Press
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — The Navy says one of four crewmembers rescued when a military helicopter went down in the Atlantic off Virginia has died.
The Navy said the crewman died Wednesday hours after he was rescued about 20 miles east of Virginia Beach and taken to a civilian hospital in Norfolk. Three other crew members are being evaluated at the hospital.
The search continues for a fifth crew member in the 42-degree seas.
The identity of the dead crewman has not been released.
The condition of the three surviving crew members, who were taken to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, was not immediately available. A spokeswoman referred questions about their status to the Navy, which did not immediately respond to questions from The Associated Press.
The Navy identified the aircraft as an MH-53E. The helicopter assigned to Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron Fourteen based at Naval Station Norfolk was conducting routine training operations, the Navy said.
According to the Naval Air Systems Command website, the aircraft performs airborne mine countermeasures and onboard delivery missions. It holds a crew of up to eight, including two pilots and is capable of speeds of more than 170 mph.
The helicopter measures 99 feet long and more than 28 feet tall. It weighs 69,750 pounds.
The chopper’s mission or why it went down was not immediately known.
Weydert said two Coast Guard vessels, including a cutter, responded to the scene.