Navy Identifies 5 Sailors Killed in California Helicopter Crash

September 5, 2021 Updated: September 5, 2021

The U.S. Navy on Sunday released the names of the five sailors who died when their helicopter crashed off the coast of Southern California during a routine flight on Tuesday.

The five sailors, all crew members of the Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 8, were identified as Lt. Bradley A. Foster, 29, a pilot from Oakhurst, California; Lt. Paul R. Fridley, 28, a pilot from Annandale, Virginia; Naval Air Crewman (Helicopter) 2nd Class James P. Buriak, 31, from Salem, Virginia; Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Sarah F. Burns, 31, from Severna Park, Maryland; and Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Bailey J. Tucker, 21, from St. Louis, Missouri.

Their bodies all remain missing.

After days of search-and-rescue efforts, the Navy declared the sailors dead and switched to and recovery operations, which are currently ongoing.

On Aug. 31 at 4:30 p.m. local time, an MH-60S Sea Hawk assigned to the Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron crashed into the Pacific Ocean about 60 nautical miles off the coast of San Diego, the U.S. Navy 3rd Fleet said. Just before the crash, it had been aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier before carrying out “routine flight operations.”

The MH-60S helicopter typically carries a crew of about four, and is used in missions including humanitarian disaster relief, combat support, and search and rescue.

Navy officials said that a sixth crew member aboard the aircraft at the time of the crash was rescued and was in stable condition.

Five sailors on the aircraft carrier also suffered injuries during the crash, the 3rd Fleet said on Facebook earlier. As of Tuesday, they were all in stable condition.

The 72-hour search and rescue operation for the five missing crew members was conducted by the Navy and the Coast Guard and involved “34 search and rescue flights, over 170 hours of flight time, with 5 search helicopters and constant surface vessel search,” Navy officials said on Saturday.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation, the Navy said.

Isabel van Brugen
Isabel van Brugen
Isabel van Brugen is an award-winning journalist and currently a news reporter at The Epoch Times. She holds a master's in newspaper journalism from City, University of London.