A Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) Sikorsky CH-148 Cyclone helicopter has gone down in the Ionian Sea west of the island Kefalonia in the Italian Flight Information Region on Wednesday 29 April 2020. This is between Greece and Italy. One body was found and five occupants are still missing.
The Canadian Forces confirmed on a social media account Wednesday that there was a “developing situation regarding our CH-148 Cyclone, deployed onboard HMCS Fredericton.”
“Contact was lost with the aircraft as it was participating in Allied exercises off the coast of Greece,” it added in a tweet.
“Search and rescue efforts are currently underway,” the Twitter post noted. “As this is evolving, we have no further information to provide at this time.”
Greek news media, citing Greek defence minister sources, stated that the helicopter crashed in the Ionian Sea, west of the Greek mainland, on Wednesday evening.
The wreckage was found in the sea about 85 km from the island of Kefalonia, in the Flight Information Region of Italy. There were six people on board and their fate remains unknown.
A CH-148 was onboard the Halifax-class HMCS Fredericton (FH 337), in the Mediterranean as part of Standing NATO Maritime Group Two (SNMG2). The SNMG2 consists of four to six destroyers and frigates.
Its role is to provide NATO with an immediate operational response capability. CH-148 148822 (c/n 92-5022) of 12 Wing was reported onboard HMCS Fredericton in January and in March 2020.
NATO search and rescue teams are searching the sea area west of Kefalonia island at this moment. There were six people on board and their fate remains unknown. Updates to follow when we have more news.