US Navy Confirms One Death During Crash of MH-53 Sea Dragon
Fort Story, Virginia – The United States Navy confirmed that a single MH-53 Sea Dragon helicopter crashed into the ocean not far from Virginia Beach. It isn’t known at this time what caused the helicopter to fail.
Two MH-53 Sea Dragons was on a training mission when one of them experienced distress and plunged into the ocean. The second helicopter attempted to aid the crew by dropping a life raft into the water until help could arrive. The US Coast Guard dispatched a cutter to retrieve the men and the Navy sent two MH-60S Seahawks which are highly functional helicopters for search and rescue missions.
One crew member died and the other four are currently hospitalized, but their condition has not been made public. The MH-53E Sea Dragon helicopter serves a primary purpose of long-range mine sweeping for the Navy. It can also function as a transporter of heavy equipment. The Navy had intended to phase them out but did not have an acceptable replacement. Instead, they performed upgrades on the helicopters and invested in additional maintenance crews. It isn’t known if the malfunction was the result of poor maintenance. Prior to the accident, only 29 Sea Dragons remained in service.