October 20, 2020

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Canada navy helicopter crash: Five presumed dead

Five missing crew members of a Canadian navy helicopter that crashed off a Greek island during a Nato exercise are presumed dead, Canada’s military says.

The body of a sixth crew member, Sub-Lt Abbigail Cowbrough, has been recovered.

It is not yet clear why the Sikorsky CH-148 Cyclone crashed.

It took off from a Canadian frigate in the Ionian Sea on Wednesday and came down off the island of Kefalonia. A search-and-rescue mission in the area is now officially a recovery effort.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said “I join all Canadians in mourning the loss of six Canadian Armed Forces members”.

“All of them are heroes. Each of them will leave a void that cannot be filled,” he said.

Who was on board?

The body of Abbigail Cowbrough, a marine systems engineering officer originally from Toronto, Ontario, has been identified.

“There are no words. You made me forever proud. I will love you always, and miss you in every moment. You are the bright light in my life taken far too soon,” her father, Shane Cowbrough, wrote on Facebook.

The CAF says five other people were on board:

  • Capt Brenden Ian MacDonald, pilot, originally from New Glasgow, Nova Scotia
  • Capt Kevin Hagen, pilot, originally from Nanaimo, British Columbia
  • Capt Maxime Miron-Morin, air combat systems officer, originally from Trois-Rivières, Québec
  • Sub-Lt Matthew Pyke, naval warfare officer, originally from Truro, Nova Scotia
  • Master-Cpl Matthew Cousins, airborne electronic sensor operator, originally from Guelph, Ontario