**** DND Media Release
HMCS Fredericton personnel and Stalker 22 located
National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces
In the early morning of May 27, 2020, a combined Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) and United States Navy (USN) search and recovery team arrived at the CH-148 Cyclone crash site, which is approximately 220 nautical miles east of Catania, Sicily.
The REMORA III remotely-operated vehicle (ROV) then dove to a depth of 3143 meters and quickly located a large piece of the fuselage. Remains of our fallen CAF personnel were also found in the vicinity of the wreckage.
Over the next hours and days, the recovery team will continue their search for both our fallen and additional pieces of the wreckage. We remain committed to staying on site for as long as necessary.
This information has been shared with the families of our fallen in advance of public release, as part of our ongoing commitment to support them. A media availability will also be organized in the coming days to provide additional information on the operation.
“This is encouraging news. We do not leave our fallen behind, and recovering Stalker 22’s crew is of the utmost importance to all of us in the Canadian Armed Forces and the Department of National Defence. Retrieving the helicopter itself will also go a long way in helping us to understand what occurred on April 29. I commend the combined CAF-US Navy search team for their professionalism and singular devotion to this task, and my thoughts remain with the loved ones of our fallen comrades.”
Lieutenant-General Mike Rouleau, Commander Canadian Joint Operations Command
“While early search efforts have been met with a degree of success, the operation is complex and may continue for some time before we are able to determine that all critical requirements have been met to cease recovery efforts. In cooperation with the RCAF, we will continue to keep the families and Canadians informed of the search results as it progresses in the days ahead.”
Rear-Admiral Craig Baines, Commander Maritime Forces Atlantic
- On April 29, 2020, six members of the CAF were killed when a Royal Canadian Air Force CH-148 Cyclone helicopter crashed while conducting maritime surveillance operations. The helicopter was deployed with HMCS Fredericton under Operation REASSURANCE as part of the Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 (SNMG2).
- On May 25, 2020, EDT Hercules departed Souda Bay, Greece with a CAF-USN team to commence the at-sea search and recovery operation.
- The CAF remain in overall control of the search and recovery effort, while working collaboratively with the USN.
- Investigations into this accident continue with a view to identify effective preventive measures that will either prevent or reduce the risk of similar occurrences in the future. There is currently no additional information available on the cause of the crash.