Additional remains have been found and five missing Canadian military members from a helicopter crash off Greece are now presumed dead, the Canadian military said Friday.
The Canadian Armed Forces said in a statement that NATO’s search and rescue efforts are now a search and recovery effort.
“We have found additional remains but unfortunately we have not been able to identify them,” said Rear-Admiral Craig Baines, adding that identification will not happen until they are in Canada.
Officials previously recovered the body of Sub-Lt. Abbigail Cowbrough and said the missing five members who were aboard the aircraft are now presumed dead. They include the pilots Capt. Brenden Ian MacDonald and Capt. Kevin Hagen, the Air Combat Systems Officer Captain Maxime Miron-Morin as well as Sub-Lt. Matthew Pyke and Master Corp. Matthew Cousins.
The Cyclone helicopter was deployed on board the Halifax-class frigate HMCS Fredericton and was participating in a NATO training exercise off the coast of Greece when the accident occurred on Wednesday evening, the military said.
The flight data recorder had been recovered but the cause of the accident was still under investigation. Multiple NATO countries were helping in the search operation in the Ionian Sea.
“I express my grief over the crash of the Canadian helicopter in the Ionian Sea last night,” Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said Thursday, speaking in parliament.