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Five missing crew members dead after helicopter crash off California coast

Christian Fernsby |
The five missing crew members of an MH-60S helicopter which crashed off the coast of California on Tuesday, have been declared dead, U.S. Navy said Saturday.

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U.S. Navy said in a press release that the 3rd Fleet has shifted from search and rescue efforts to recovery operations.

"The transition from search and rescue efforts to recovery operations comes after more than 72 hours of coordinated rescue efforts encompassing 34 search and rescue flights, over 170 hours of flight time, with 5 search helicopters and constant surface vessel search," said the Navy.

Assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 8, the helicopter was conducting routine flight operations from aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln when it crashed into the sea approximately 60 nautical miles off the coast of San Diego Tuesday afternoon, according to the Navy.

One crew member was rescued following the crash. Five sailors aboard aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln were also injured during the incident.

Officials said that an investigation into the incident is underway. San Diego-based USS Abraham Lincoln is the fifth Nimitz-class aircraft carrier in the Navy and a member of the U.S. Pacific Fleet.

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