US Navy helicopter crew survives crash into ocean in Southern California

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A U.S. Navy helicopter crashed into the Pacific Ocean off of Southern California during a training exercise Thursday night, a spokesperson said. All six crewmembers survived. The MH-60R Seahawk crashed in the waters of San Diego Bay shortly after 6:30 p.m., said a statement from Cmdr. Beth Teach of the Naval Air Force Pacific Fleet.

“Due to the nature of the training, a safety boat was on location,” the statement said, adding that the crew members were taken ashore for medical evaluations. There wasn’t any immediate word on their conditions but Navy officials weren’t aware of any critical or life-threatening injuries.

The crash site was in Coronado, across an inlet from San Diego. The local Fire Department and the U.S. Coast Guard responded to the scene. The cause of the crash is under investigation. The aircraft was from Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 41.

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The fleet replacement squadron is based at Naval Air Station North Island on the Coronado peninsula. It trains aircrews on the MH-60R Seahawk, according to its website. The MH-60R Seahawk is the Navy’s main helicopter for anti-submarine warfare but it can perform a wide variety of missions, including reconnaissance and search-and-rescue operations, according to a Navy website.