One person is dead and five are missing after a military helicopter operating off a Canadian frigate during a NATO exercise crashed into the sea between Greece and Italy, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Thursday.
“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.
He said he would contact Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to express his government’s condolences.
The Canadian armed forces said the helicopter had been “involved in an accident” and that the families of the missing crew members had been contacted but gave no further details.
A Greek navy helicopter was taking part in the search for the CH-148 Cyclone helicopter that went missing on Wednesday night, defence officials said.
The search was being carried out west of the Greek island of Kefalonia, where the manoeuvres were being held as part of a NATO naval operation run from Naples, Italy.
Gen. Jonathan Vance, Canada’s top military official, said the ship lost contact with the aircrew on Wednesday evening and that flares were spotted from the water minutes later. He confirmed the body of 23-year-old Abbigail Cowbrough has been recovered.
Tanya Cowbrough said on Facebook her daughter had been killed.
“My beautiful daughter has been in a military accident and passed away,” she wrote. “Nothing can replace her.”
Shane Cowbrough said he lost his oldest daughter.
“I am broken and gutted,” he posted. “There are no words. You made me forever proud. I will love you always, and miss you in every moment.”
Her death hit Nova Scotia hard as it’s already dealing with the killings of 22 people by a gunman who went on a rampage two weeks ago. “Today, Nova Scotians are mourning another loss,” Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil said.
A GoFundMe page has been established to support Cowbrough’s family.
Sourced By: Associated Press