Coast Guard suspends search for missing U.S. Navy crewmember 18 miles east of Cape Henry, Va.

5th Coast Guard District News
PORTSMOUTH, Va. — The Coast Guard suspended its search Thursday for the missing crewmember of a Navy MH-53E Sea Dragon helicopter that crashed Wednesday with five people aboard approximately 18 miles east of Cape Henry, Va.

A Navy aircrew initially contacted Coast Guard 5th District Command Center watchstanders at approximately 11 a.m. Wednesday reporting the Sea Dragon crashed and another Navy aircrew dropped a life raft to the people in the water.

Coast Guard Sector Hampton Roads watchstanders issued an urgent marine information broadcast and dispatched multiple crews aboard response boats from Coast Guard Station Little Creek and diverted the Coast Guard Cutter Shearwater, an 87-foot patrol boat homeported in Portsmouth, to assist.

At approximately 11:45 a.m. Wednesday, two Navy helicopter crews hoisted four people from the water and took them to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital.

Coast Guard and other crews actively searched for the missing crewmember for more than 33 hours while searching approximately 620 square nautical miles in overlapping search patterns.

The following Coast Guard crews searched for the missing man:

  • Crew aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Shearwater
  • Crews aboard a 25-foot Response Boat – Small and 45-foot Response Boat – Medium from Coast Guard Station Little Creek
  • An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C.

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