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An Oakhurst pilot is among the five who died in Navy helicopter crash



Five sailors now presumed dead after 72 hours of searching the Pacific Ocean after their helicopter lost control aboard a Navy aircraft carrier off San Diego have been identified.

The sailors and their MH-60S helicopter went overboard the USS Abraham Lincoln around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 31. A sixth sailor was rescued around 10 p.m. that night and was reported in stable condition at a San Diego hospital.

The Navy on Sunday released the names of those who are still missing and now believed to have died: Lt. Bradley A. Foster, 29, a pilot from Oakhurst; Lt. Paul R. Fridley, 28, a pilot from Annandale, Va; Naval Air Crewman (Helicopter) 2nd Class James P. Buriak, 31, from Salem, Va; Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Sarah F. Burns, 31, from Severna Park, Md.; and Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Bailey J. Tucker, 21, from St. Louis, Mo.

“We have transitioned from rescue efforts to recovery operations,” Navy Lt. Sam Boyle said on Saturday. “We’ll make every possible effort to locate the helicopter wreckage.”

Five sailors aboard the San Diego-based USS Abraham Lincoln were also injured in the crash on the ship’s deck. Two of the sailors were taken to facilities in San Diego, three others were treated aboard the ship.

The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier was about 60 miles off the San Diego coast at the time of the crash, preparing for a deployment next year.

An investigation continues into what caused the helicopter to crash, officials with the Navy’s Third Fleet said.

The MH-60S is a versatile aircraft that typically carries a crew of four and is used in missions including combat support, humanitarian disaster relief and search and rescue.

Source: Orange County Register

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