Photo: US Navy
SAN DIEGO (AP) — The U.S. Navy on Sunday identified five sailors who died when a helicopter crashed in the Pacific Ocean off of Southern California.
They were Lt. Bradley A. Foster, 29, a pilot from Oakhurst, California; Lt. Paul R. Fridley, 28, a pilot from Annandale, Virginia; Naval Air Crewman (Helicopter) 2nd Class James P. Buriak, 31, from Salem, Virginia; Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Sarah F. Burns, 31, from Severna Park, Maryland and Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Bailey J. Tucker, 21, from St. Louis, Missouri.
Buriak was a 2012 Roanoke College graduate with a degree in Sports Management. He was assigned as rescue swimmer to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 8, and he received widespread acclaim in February 2020 when he rescued a swimmer on Guam. Click here to read the full US Navy account.
The MH-60S crashed on Aug. 31 about 70 miles (112 kilometers) off San Diego during what the Navy described as routine flight operations. It was operating from the deck of the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln.
One sailor was rescued after the crash. Five sailors aboard the aircraft carrier were injured but were said to be in stable condition.
The Navy declared the sailors dead on Saturday following days of search-and-rescue efforts and switched to recovering their bodies.
The cause of the crash is under investigation.
The MH-60S helicopter typically carries a crew of about four and is used in missions including combat support, humanitarian disaster relief and search and rescue.
The aircraft belongs to the Navy’s Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 8.