Salvage Operations Underway for Coast Guard Helicopter in Lake Huron

ABOARD THE USCGC BRISTOL BAY IN LAKE HURON – Salvage operations to recover a U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Detroit HH-65C helicopter which sank in Lake Huron following a crash April 20, 2010, are underway aboard the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Bristol Bay.

Divers completed an assessment of the crash site and found no evidence of pollution or leakage of any of the estimated 140 gallons of aviation-grade fuel still aboard the aircraft. Salvage operators were also able to remove and recover the main rotor blades and the aircraft’s black box. The airframe is on the bottom of Lake Huron in approximately 50 feet of water.

Lifting operations aboard the Bristol Bay are scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. Friday. Once the airframe has been recovered, it will be taken to a secure hangar at Selfridge Air National Guard Base for mishap investigators to continue their work. The cause of the crash is still under investigation.

A commercial diver enters the water from the Coast Guard Cutter Bristol Bay during salvage efforts offshore Detroit in southern Lake Huron, April 21, 2010. Members of a salvage team from U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Detroit were aboard the Bristol Bay, working to raise an HH-65C helicopter from the air station that crashed during a night training operation near Port Huron, Mich., April 20, 2010. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer John Masson.

Members of a salvage team from Air Station Detroit and crew members from the Coast Guard Cutter Bristol Bay examine video being taken by a commercial diver 50 feet below the surface of Lake Huron during salvage efforts, April 21, 2010, to recover an HH-65C helicopter from Air Station Detroit that crashed, April 20, 2010, during a night training operation. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer First Class John Masson

Members of a salvage team from Air Station Detroit and a crew member from the Bristol Bay examine video being taken by a commercial diver 50 feet below during salvage efforts, April 21, 2010. The team is working to salvage an HH-65C helicopter from Air Station Detroit that crashed, April 20, 2010, during a night training operation. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer First Class John Masson

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