Navy probes helicopter crash

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 29, 2005

MAYPORT, FL. – A local man, enlisted in the U.S. Navy, is missing following the apparent Saturday night crash of a Seahawk helicopter off the North Carolina coast.

While the Navy is withholding the names of the three missing crew members aboard the helicopter at the time of the crash, the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald has confirmed through a source close to a local family that Nicholas Brantley of Ahoskie was onboard that aircraft.

Search and rescue efforts for three crewmen from Naval Station Mayport's (Jacksonville, Fla.) Helicopter Anti-Submarine Light Wing were officially suspended at 11 a.m. on Monday after a dedicated search by Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard air and surface assets.

The search was called off after debris from the wreckage was located in the Atlantic Ocean and no survivors were found.

Bill Austin, Deputy Public Affairs Officer with the Mayport Naval Station, said the helicopter lost communications while conducting deck landing qualifications off the coast near Cherry Point as part of the Nassau Expeditionary Strike Group on Saturday, September 25 at 10:50 p.m.

An investigation is underway to determine the cause of the accident.