The Canadian Armed Forces are turning to the U.S. military for assistance in recovering a downed Cyclone helicopter off the coast of Greece. Six Armed Forces members died when the Cyclone helicopter went down, with the wreckage now under about 3,000 metres of water. The remains of two Armed Forces members on board have been recovered along with the voice and flight-data, while four others are missing and presumed dead.
Lt.-Gen. Mike Rouleau said that the Canadian military secured US Navy support within nine days of the deadly crash and Canadian aircraft began transporting US experts and deep-submersible technology to the region as of May 15.
He added that Canada does not possess the technological capability to recover wreckage from the depth - 3,000 meters - where the remains of the helicopter lie.
Canadian investigators and the experts from the US Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) and the Office of the Supervisor of Salvage and Diving (SUPSALV) experts are expected to begin the recovery mission next week. The investigation, despite the assistance of US personnel, will be led by Canadian forces members, Rouleau said. The Canadian helicopter fleet has been placed on an operational pause while experts assess the cause of the accident.
"Speed in this search and recovery is very important for a number of reasons," Rouleau said Monday while addressing media. "The first is for the families. The second relates to our [Canadian Armed Forces] ethos — we do not leave our fallen behind. And the third is, the environment will degrade [crash] evidence over time."
The CH-148 Cyclone Helicopter went down as it was approaching HMCS Fredericton in the Ionian Sea following a surveillance training mission on April 29.