Navy identifies 5 sailors who died in helicopter crash

Geoff Ziezulewicz

SAN DIEGO: The Navy has identified five sailors who died when their helicopter crashed into the Pacific Ocean Tuesday.

They are:

♦ Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Bailey J. Tucker, 21.

♦ Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Sarah F. Burns, 31.

♦ Naval Air Crewman (Helicopter) 2nd Class James P. Buriak, 31.

♦ Lt. Paul R. Fridley, 28.

♦ Lt. Bradley A. Foster, 29.

The MH-60S Knighthawk, assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 8, was operating off the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln 60 nautical miles from San Diego when it crashed at about 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.

A sixth unidentified crewmember was rescued later that day.

Officials have yet to disclose what caused the crash, but five sailors on the deck of Abraham Lincoln were also injured in the mishap, two of whom had to be evacuated off the ship.

U.S. 3rd Fleet officials said Wednesday that the helicopter was “operating on deck before crashing into the sea.”

An investigation is underway.

Originally from St. Louis, Tucker arrived at HSC-8 in late June, his first assignment out of training, according to the Navy.

Burns hailed from Severna Park, Maryland, and had been with the squadron since November.

Buriak was a Salem, Virginia, native, and had been assigned to the unit for nearly three years.

One of the two pilots, Fridley, was from Annandale, Virginia, and arrived at the squadron in 2018, his first assignment out of training.

The other pilot, Foster, was originally from Oakhurst, California, and had been with HSC-8 since January 2019.

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