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US Navy, March 23, 2021 - NORTH PACIFIC by By Naval Sea Systems Command Office of Corporate Communication - NAVSEA’s Supervisor of Salvage and Diving (SUPSALV) recovered a downed Navy MH-60S helicopter from a depth of 19,075 feet off the coast of Okinawa, Japan Thursday.
The helicopter, a twin engine Sikorsky Seahawk, crashed into the Pacific Ocean last year while operating from the amphibious command ship USS Blue Ridge (LCC-19). The air crew was able to escape the MH-60S before it sank and no lives were lost in the accident.
Responding to a U.S. Pacific Command Fleet request, SUPSALV located and documented the wreckage using side-scan sonar and photographs of the helicopter as it lay on the ocean floor during North Pacific operations last spring.
SUPSALV returned to the site this month at the request of the Navy Safety Center with CURV 21, a deep-water, remotely operated vehicle with the ability to meet deep ocean salvage requirements to a maximum depth of 20,000 feet.
The SUPSALV team met the contracted salvage vessel in Guam, completed mobilization of CURV and its deep-lift take-up reel, and departed for the five-day transit. Arriving on the crash site March17, the team began recovery operations. Pulled from its depth of 19,075 FSW, the MH-60S’s recovery broke SUPSALV’s own world depth record for an aircraft recovery.
The salvage vessel will proceed to Fleet Activities Yokosuka where the MH-60S will be offloaded for transport back to the United States.
“As a whole, this operation was fast-paced and entirely successful,” said Bryan Blake, SUPSALV’s Deep Ocean Program Manager. “Our efforts validated the Navy’s deep ocean search and recovery requirements. The capability to recover the airframe and make it available to determine the cause of the accident is a huge plus helping to ensure Naval Aviation safety.
The Navy’s Supervisor of Salvage and Diving provides technical, operational, and emergency support to the Navy, Department of Defense, and other federal agencies in the ocean engineering disciplines of marine salvage, towing, pollution control and abatement, diving and diving system safety and certification, diving and salvage equipment procurement, and underwater ship husbandry.
Navy MH-60S Helicopter Crashes in the Philippine Sea off Okinawa, Crew Rescued
US Navy - January 25, 2020 - Crew Safe After U.S. Navy Helicopter Goes Down in Philippine Sea By U.S. 7th Fleet Public Affairs | Jan. 25, 2020 PHILIPPINE SEA –
Five aircrew were rescued after their MH-60S helicopter went down in the Philippine Sea Jan. 25. Three were transported by a Japanese helicopter to Naval Hospital Okinawa for evaluation.
Two aircrew returned by U.S. Navy helicopter to USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19).
All five crewmembers are currently in stable condition.
The MH-60 assigned to Blue Ridge went down while conducting routine operations at approximately 5:15 p.m. local time.
Three aircrew were recovered by a Japan Air Self-Defense Force UH-60 search and rescue helicopter, and the other two were recovered by a USS Blue Ridge MH-60S helicopter.
Japan Air Self-Defense Force, Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, Japanese Coast Guard, USS America (LHA 6), USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) and the U.S. Air Force all participated in the search and rescue.
The CURV 21 is a deep-water, remotely operated vehicle with the ability to reach deep ocean to a maximum depth of 20,000 feet ~ 6096 meters