A Canadian military helicopter serving with a NATO naval job drive has gone missing within the Ionian Sea whereas taking part in a mission in worldwide waters off Greece.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed the news in a tweet Wednesday night. Trudeau stated a search and rescue operation was underway and that different updates could be supplied “as quickly as doable.”
Local media studies, quoting the Greek defence ministry, stated the plane, with as many as six individuals aboard, had crashed into the ocean.
A supply with the Greek authorities advised BbcCnnLife News that one physique had been recovered. Separately, native media in Greece additionally reported that wreckage had been noticed.
No one within the Canadian authorities would verify the studies, nor supply remark. Officials contacted by BbcCnnLife News late Wednesday stated they anticipated that the prime minister would tackle the nation Thursday morning.
Little remark from NATO
A tweet from Canadian Armed Forces operations earlier Wednesday would solely formally verify there was an incident involving one of many air drive’s new CH-148 Cyclone helicopters.
“Contact was misplaced with the plane because it was taking part in Allied workouts off the coast of Greece,” the military stated on Twitter and Facebook. “Search and rescue efforts are at present underway.”
We are pondering of our courageous Canadians deployed overseas. At occasions like these, we should hold hope alive. <a href=”https://twitter.com/CanadianForces?ref_src=twsrcpercent5Etfw”>@CanadianForces</a> <a href=”https://t.co/GthgZ7tpUF”>https://t.co/GthgZ7tpUF</a>
A spokesperson for NATO supplied little in the best way of remark.
“I verify there was an incident involving a helicopter from a ship beneath NATO command,” stated Col. Juanita Chang, chief of public affairs at Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe in Mons, Belgium.
“There is at present a search and rescue operation being performed and nationwide notifications going down.”
Separately, a NATO supply advised BbcCnnLife News that contact with the helicopter was misplaced early within the night on Wednesday, round 8:15 p.m., native time. The flight was briefed as a routine flight operation whereas the duty drive was at sea, in accordance with the official, who requested that their identify be saved confidential due to the sensitivity of the topic.
NATO’s Operation Reassurance
HMCS Fredericton is a part of the standing NATO naval group at present within the space. It has been on deployment since January.
The Greek state tv channel ERT reported that the helicopter had come from the Canadian frigate, which is collaborating within the alliance’s Operation Reassurance meant to discourage Russian aggression all through Eastern Europe.
The crash reportedly occurred late Wednesday within the Ionian Sea about 80 kilometres off the Greek resort island of Cephalonia.
HMCS Fredericton was reported to be a part of the search operation, together with an Italian frigate and a Turkish frigate.
The Cyclone is a militarized model of the Sikorsky S-92 utility helicopter.
It changed the air drive’s five-decade-old CH-124 Sea Kings, which have been regularly retired from service over the previous few years. The crash of a Cyclone would characterize a serious blow given how lengthy the military needed to anticipate the plane to be developed.
5 oversees missions so far
Originally ordered in 2004, this system confronted delays and price escalations to the purpose the place former auditor basic Sheila Fraser slammed the federal authorities’s handing of the challenge in 2010.
The Cyclone routinely flies with a crew of 4: two pilots, a tactical operator and a sensor operator. There is, nonetheless, room for a number of passengers. The helicopter’s main mission is searching submarines, nevertheless it has a complicated surveillance suite and can be outfitted for search and rescue.
Since coming into service, the Cyclone has been deployed on 5 abroad missions with the navy, together with earlier NATO stints.
The air drive repeatedly has praised the plane’s capabilities — though it was concerned in not less than one shipboard accident whereas serving with HMCS Regina and the resupply ship MV Asterix the Pacific Ocean final 12 months.
A Cyclone suffered what defence officers described on the time as a “laborious touchdown” aboard the Asterix on Feb. 18, 2019.