SAN DIEGO – Military officials on Sunday released the identities of four sailors killed when a helicopter crashed in the ocean off the San Diego coast. Three of the bodies had yet to be found.
Lt. j.g. Laura J. Mankey of West Hills, in northern Los Angeles County, died in Friday's crash during a training mission, according to a Navy statement.
Also killed were Lt. Adam A. Dyer, 28, of Lafayette, La.; Petty Officer 1st Class Cory J. Helman, 27, of New Richmond, Wis.; and Petty Officer 2nd Class Christopher M. Will, 29, of Warren, Mich. They were members of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 23 assigned to Naval Air Station North Island.
Their MH-60S helicopter was on a training mission off the USS Bonhomme Richard, an amphibious assault craft, when it went into the ocean Friday afternoon. Will was pulled from the water shortly after the crash but died while being treated on the Bonhomme Richard.
A recovery mission for the three other bodies was ongoing Sunday near San Clemente Island, about 50 miles off the coast, said Navy Lt. Cmdr. Elizabeth Meydenbauer. The search for survivors was called off Saturday afternoon after rescuers determined it was unlikely they could have survived in the cold water, Meydenbauer said.
Meydenbauer said the Navy knew the location of the sunken helicopter, which was at a depth of 3,600 feet, but hadn't decided whether to bring the wreckage up from the ocean floor.