Lynx helicopter crashes off Cornwall - 4 dead

An RAF Lynx?

RIP fellas. :(
It's early days so lets hope there are four blokes bobbing up and down in the oggin awaiting pickup. One can hope.
Unless there have been other reports/info, the link says the crew are missing not confirmed dead.

I do hope that the title is wrong. Thoughts and prayers to the families of the missing crew.
Saying a quiet prayer.


Kit Reviewer
If you made it through the ditching, hang in there boys.
God's speed gentlemen - my prayers are with you.
Just trying to see if there's any more news on the wires....

Four missing as Navy helicopter crashes into sea
By Richard Alleyne
(Filed: 09/12/2004)

A Royal Navy helicopter with four crew on board crashed off Cornwall last night, the Ministry of Defence said.

Navy Lynx helicopter similar to the one that crashed

The helicopter, based at Yeovilton, Somerset, had been searching for a sailor reported to have fallen overboard from a Navy warship.

But contact with the Lynx was lost when it was 15 miles south-east of the Lizard peninsula.

Two Navy helicopters, an RAF helicopter and a Falcon aircraft of the French air force were scrambled to search for the machine and its crew.

A lifeboat was also launched from Falmouth and three warships, including the aircraft carrier Illustrious, joined the operation.

Royal Navy spokesman Commander John Parris said that no SOS call had been made from the stricken aircraft before it disappeared from radar.

Crash locator graphic

A spokesman for RAF Kinloss, which co-ordinates search and rescue operations, said: "Just after 7pm, we lost contact with the Lynx and ordered a major search.

"The helicopter had been investigating reports of a man overboard but it has since been established that two frigates in the area, the Montrose and the St Albans, did not have anyone overboard."

"It is a little bit of a mystery at this stage," he added.

The Lynx was fitted with a location beacon designed to begin transmitting if it crashed. The lifejackets of the crew were fitted with similar devices.

The helicopters searching for them are fitted with infra-red equipment to enable rescue operations to continue in the night.

Asked about the chances of finding the four crew alive, the RAF Kinloss spokesman said: "It's relatively warm for the time of year. The sea state is relatively calm.

"What we don't know is whether they were able to control their landing on the water or whether it was something that happened very quickly."

The families of the crews were told of the crash late last night. They are all believed to live in the Yeovilton area.

The Lynx is one of the stalwarts of the British military, but it also has a record of tragic accidents. Last night's crash joins a list of incidents involving 15 Lynx that have gone down in as many years.

Primarily an attack helicopter, the multi-role high-speed aircraft can operate as easily from Navy ships as from land.

The worst Lynx tragedy happened in May 1989, when nine servicemen were killed after their helicopter crashed near Mombasa, Kenya, while carrying men on shore leave.
Navy helicopter wreckage is found on seabed
(Filed: 09/12/2004)

The wreckage of a Royal Navy Lynx helicopter that went missing off the coast of Cornwall carrying four crew has been found, the Ministry of Defence has said.

Crash locator graphic

The main body of the the Lynx was located on the seabed using a Royal Navy remote-controlled submarine, which is only capable of taking low-quality images.

Navy divers will take a high-quality underwater camera down to the wreckage this afternoon, a Navy spokesman said.

Contact with the aircraft was lost just after 7pm yesterday as it carried out a sweep 17 nautical miles off Lizard Point.

Commodore Alan Bennett expressed sympathy for the families of those involved in the helicopter crash.

He said the four missing helicopter crew were from 815 Naval Air Squadron based at Royal Naval Air Station in Yeovilton, Somerset.

The crew of the Falmouth all-weather lifeboat, who joined the search last night, said this morning they had recovered pieces of wreckage from the sea.

They also reported detecting "a strong smell of aviation fuel" in the water, an RNLI spokesman said.

Alan Barnes, the lifeboat coxswain, told the BBC: "We discovered wreckage, some small pieces, some bigger pieces, and we picked up some bits from the water and we carried on the search."

Mr Barnes said the lifeboat crew had recovered panels, the tip of a blade and what appeared to be navigation equipment from the water.

The largest piece of the wreckage they found in an area of the sea about 20 miles south-east of Lizard Point was the size of a coffee table top.

There was no sign of the four crew members, he added.

The helicopter had been scrambled after two Navy ratings on board the frigate HMS Montrose heard cries for help coming from the water.

But the Montrose and HMS St Albans later reported all personnel accounted for, while a French warship in the area also said it had no one missing.

A search and rescue operation continued through the night but three military helicopters taking part had to return to base at 3.30am to refuel, Falmouth Coastguard said.

The helicopters, two from RNAS Culdrose near Helston, Cornwall, and one with infra-red imaging equipment from RAF Chivenor in Devon, resumed searching at around 7.30am.

Aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious was co-ordinating operations at sea, aided by HMS Montrose and HMS St Albans.

A spokesman for RAF Kinloss said last night: "As every hour goes by you have to be realistic about it.

"But what fires rescue teams to keep going is the thought that people can, and people do, survive against the odds."

The families of the crew members were last night being informed of the operation to try to rescue their relatives.


Kit Reviewer
DAMN ! I've been hoping against the odds that they might have survived the ditch.

Let's hope that the investigation finds the cause and manages to make life safer for all other aircrew.

Rest In Peace boys.

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