The MH-53E Sea Dragon helicopter was on a training flight with a
five-member crew on January 8 when it went into the Atlantic Ocean
near Fort Story, about 150 miles south of Washington.
Navy divers searching the wreckage recovered the body of Lieutenant
Sean Christopher Snyder on Tuesday, the Navy said in a statement
late on Tuesday.
It was a day after locating the aircraft's cockpit and the
39-year-old missing pilot's remains using a "remotely operated
vehicle," though the search was halted due to bad weather.
Military officials had identified the two sailors who died as
crewman Petty Officer Brian Collins, 25, of Truckee, California, and
pilot Lieutenant Wesley Van Dorn, 29, of Greensboro, North Carolina.
The helicopter had been conducting "routine mine countermeasure
training," the Navy said.
"Sean was a man of honor and a true hero, not only to his country,
but also to his wife, children, family, and friends," his family
said in a statement.
Four of the crew members were rescued and taken to Sentara Norfolk
General Hospital for treatment, where Collins and Van Dorn died
there from unspecified injuries, the Navy said. The two others have
since been released from hospital.
[to top of second column]
The cause of the crash of the helicopter made by the Sikorsky unit
of United Technologies Corp was under investigation.
The search for the missing crew member had been suspended the day
after the crash, on January 9, after more than 500 square miles of
water had been checked, officials said.
The crew was part of Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron
Fourteen, based at Norfolk Naval Station in Virginia, where a
memorial service is set for Friday.
(Reporting by Eric M. Johnson in Seattle;
editing by Jeremy Gaunt)
[© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.