The Navy announced this morning it is suspending search and rescue efforts for two crew members missing since their MH-60S Knighthawk helicopter crashed in the Red Sea.
The helicopter is assigned to the Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 6, based at Naval Air Station North Island.
Eyewitnesses told CNN how the mishap occurred:
The helicopter landed on the desk of the guided-missile destroyer USS Lawrence, two Navy sources said, and three passengers got off.
...The two crew members were still aboard when, apparently, a wave hit the ship severe enough to cause the helicopter to fall into the sea.
According to U.S. Naval Forces Central Command:
Navy officials have concluded that given the time elapsed since the incident, aircrew survivability was extremely unlikely. The location of the crash site is known, and an extensive area has been searched multiple times by various ships and aircraft.
The Navy is withholding the names of the missing Sailors pending notification of next-of-kin.
An investigation into the crash is underway, but hostile activity isn't suspected as the cause of the accident.