1 dead, 1 in surgery following Navy chopper crash off VA coast

MH-53E Sea Dragon (Source: U.S. Navy)
MH-53E Sea Dragon (Source: U.S. Navy)

NORFOLK, VA (WWBT) - One person is dead and another remains missing after a Navy helicopter went down off the Virginia coast Wednesday morning.

The three surviving victims remain hospitalized. One is headed into surgery, while the other two are stable, Navy officials said.

The MH-53E Sea Dragon helicopter carrying two pilots and three crewmen went down 18 nautical miles east of Cape Henry, Naval Air Forces Atlantic officials said. The helicopter which was training for routine mine air counter operations sent out a distress call around 10:45 a.m.

Crews recovered four victims close to the wreckage and took them to Sentara Norfolk. Two were found 40 minutes after the crash, two others were found 20 minutes later. One of those recovered was confirmed dead around 1:40 p.m.

Two Coast Guard boats are actively searching for the remaining crew member. The helicopter has not yet been found and is believed to have sunk.

The MH-53E is mainly used to find mines and can operate from carriers. It can carry up to 55 troops or a 16-ton payload, according to the Navy.

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