The body of the Canadian Armed Forces Marines Systems Engineering Officer, Sub-Lieutenant Abbigail Cowbrough, has been found after a military Cyclone Sikorsky CH-148 helicopter crashed in the Ionian Sea. Five other crew members 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 Cyclone Sikorsky CH-148 helicopter was returning back to her mother ship HMCS FREDERICTON FFH 337 when contact was lost over waters between Greece and Italy on Wednesday 29th April evening. The frigate is part of Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 (SNMG2) and soon resuming her role under Operation Reassurance and at the time of the incident she was taking part in an exercise with Italian and Turkish ships.
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.”
All images are of HMCS FREDERICTON FFH 337 leaving Catania, Sicily last Monday 24th February, 2020.
Photos by Capt. Lawrence Dalli. Do not use these images without my permission. © All rights reserved. Malta Ship Photos & Action Photos – www.maltashipphotos.com
Published – Saturday 2nd May, 2020