Canadian chopper goes down in Greece, frantic search for survivors

Sunday, 03 May, 2020

Nanaimo-born Capt. Kevin Hagen is among the missing.

Local media said the H-148 Cyclone helicopter, which flew from Canadian frigate Fredericton, had been 92 kilometres off the Greek island of Kefalonia.

The Canadian frigate and submarine-hunting helicopter had been deployed since Jan 20 on Nato's Operation Reassurance, aimed at deterring Russian Federation intervention in eastern and central Europe.

One Canadian military solider has been reported dead and five others missing after a chopper of Canadian Armed Forces crashed in global waters between Greece and Italy.

The release of the report into the 2015 crash of a Canadian Forces patrol aircraft which injured several crew members also took about two years.

Greece's state broadcaster, ERT, initially reported one body has been discovered and that five others were missing.

At the time of the accident, the crew and allied ships were "not conducting surveillance or targeted operations on any particular vessel, adversary or otherwise", said Canada's military chief of staff, General Jon Vance.

"Greece has sent a marine helicopter to participate in the rescue operation", the source said.

Abbigail Cowbrough, a marine systems engineering officer originally from Toronto, was confirmed dead Thursday.

They perished in the crash of their CH-148 Cyclone Helicopter Wednesday afternoon during a training exercise off the shores of Greece.

"All of them are heroes", he said. Matthew Pyke from Truro, N.S.; and Master Cpl. "On behalf of all Canadians, I want to offer my deepest support to their families, their friends, their shipmates, and their fellow CAF members".

"Our hearts are heavy with the recent news from HMCS Fredericton".

In addition, an RCAF Flight Safety team will depart Canada on Friday to investigate the circumstances of the accident.

According to Vance the voice and data flight recorders has been recovered and flown to Canada for analysis.