Body Found After NATO Helicopter Crash In Mediterranean

The search for the five other crew members is continuing.

The body of a Canadian sailor has been found after a military helicopter crashed in the Ionian Sea. 

The Canadian Armed Forces confirmed Marines Systems Engineering Officer, Sub-Lieutenant Abbigail Cowbrough, was killed in the accident. 

Five other crew members of the Cyclone Sikorsky CH-148 helicopter are still missing. 

Jody Thomas, Canada's Deputy Minister of National Defence, said: "This tragedy hits home especially hard, as I know it does for so many members of our wider defence team. 

"We join all Canadians to extend our deepest sympathies to the entire crew of the HMCS Fredericton, who served shoulder to shoulder with their lost teammate and we support those impacted during this truly difficult time.”

The helicopter was returning to Canadian frigate HMCS Fredericton when contact was lost over waters between Greece and Italy on Wednesday evening.

The ship is deployed to the region as part of a NATO maritime group under Operation Reassurance.

She was taking part in an exercise with Italian and Turkish ships at the time of the accident. 

The Canadian Armed Forces say a team has been sent to investigate the incident.

Ships and aircraft from Greece, Italy, Turkey and the United States are also assisting with the search.

A joint statement from Commanders of the Royal Canadian Navy and Royal Canadian Air Force thanked NATO allies and everyone involved in the search efforts. 

“This incident serves as a difficult reminder of the sacrifice that our brave men and women face daily while defending and representing our nation, both at home and abroad," the statement read.

"It also serves to remind us all how dangerous even routine operations at sea and in the air can be." 

Cover image: Ships and aircraft from the alliance search for the missing helicopter (Picture: NATO).