Three rescued from Navy helicopter crash in Red Sea, two still missing

A picture from the US Navy website taken on September 3, 2013 shows MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopters assigned to the Indians of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 6 landing on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz in the Red Sea. AFP - Getty Images, file

Three crew members were safely rescued, but two are still missing after a U.S. Navy helicopter crashed in the Red Sea on Sunday during routine flight operations, military officials said.

The MH-60S Knighthawk helicopter, assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 6 — nicknamed the HSC Indians — went down in the Central Red Sea at about noon local time, according to an official with the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet.

Three who went down with the helicopter were found in “stable” condition, according to the official.

The USS Nimitz is leading the search and rescue mission for the two remaining crew members who were aboard the helicopter with the aid of planes, helicopters and five additional ships, officials said.

The crash was not a result of any hostile activity but the incident is under investigation, Navy officials added.

The Knighthawk had been trying to either land or takeoff from the rear helicopter deck of the USS William P. Lawrence, a guided-missile destroyer, at the time of the crash, officials said.

The USS Nimitz deployed to the Red Sea on Sept. 2 in anticipation of a possible U.S. strike on Syria.