Canadian and American naval forces have concluded the search and recovery mission for the wreckage of the Cyclone helicopter (with nickname Stalker 22) of the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) Cyclone helicopter that was crashed in the Mediterranean during NATO mission in April.
“After eight days over the crash site we achieved what we set out to accomplish – we located the helicopter, we have recovered some remains of our fallen and we have retrieved multiple pieces of the aircraft that will assist in the ongoing flight safety investigation,” Rear-Admiral Craig Baines, Commander Maritime Forces Atlantic of the RCN, said.
“While we were able to recover remains of some of our fallen, it is important to note that we have not identified these remains and it is unknown at this time whether we have found everyone,” Baines added.
The crash occurred in 3,100 meters of water, and the Canadian Navy reached out to the U.S. Navy for assistance in retrieving evidence from the bottom. An American ROV was deployed aboard a commercial offshore supply ship to investigate the site, and after an eight-day search, the team achieved its objectives.
The Stalker-22 was deployed with HMCS Fredericton under Operation REASSURANCE as part of the Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 (SNMG2).
An inquiry into the cause of the crash continues, and it is not expected to produce results for some weeks. In the meantime, the Canadian Navy’s relatively new fleet of Cyclone helicopters has been grounded as a precautionary measure.