Navy calls off search for 2 missing crew members in Red Sea helicopter crash

Published September 23, 2013

| FoxNews.com

The U.S. Navy has called off a search for two missing crew members who were involved in a helicopter crash in the Red Sea on Sunday, saying it is unlikely that they survived.

The MH-60S Knighthawk helicopter was flying with the USS William P. Lawrence as part of a carrier group dispatched to the region amid Syria’s ongoing unrest, according to the AFP.

The Navy revealed Monday that the helicopter crashed in the Red Sea after trying to land on the deck of the ship.

“Navy officials have concluded that given the time elapsed since the incident, aircrew survivability was extremely unlikely,” the Navy said in a statement on its website. “The location of the crash site is known, and an extensive area has been searched multiple times by various ships and aircraft.”

Three members onboard the helicopter were rescued on Sunday. The names of the missing service members are being held pending the notification of the next of kin, the Navy said.

Officials are conducting an investigation into the crash, but ruled out “hostile activity” as a cause.

Aircraft and small boats from the USS Nimitz Carrier Strike Group had been providing search-and-rescue assistance.

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