The province of Nova Scotia is bearing an even heavier burden today. Under the shadow of COVID-19, and the mass shooting that killed 22, another Nova Scotian has lost her life in a Canadian Armed Forces helicopter crash off the coast of Greece.
According to the Prime Minister and Minister of Defence Harjit Sajjan there were six people on board and only Sub-lieutenant Abbigail Cowbrough’s body has been recovered. Sajjan says the flight data recorder and the voice recorder have been found and the Flight Safety Team is leaving Thursday to continue to investigate. The cause of the crash is not known.
“I can assure you we will get answers in due course,” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
The Cyclone helicopter crashed Wednesday in the Ionian Sea during a basic training exercise and was returning back to the HMCS Fredericton, which is part of the NATO mission Operation Reassurance. A search and recovery mission is still underway.
Trudeau gave his condolences on behalf of the country to the families and friends and members of the Canadian Armed Forces, the people of Halifax and Nova Scotia.
“Operation Reassurance is Canada at its best bolstering security in the Mediterranean.”
The Prime Minister also referenced Armed Forces members on the frontlines of COVID-19 here at home, saying they are working day and night to protect, “our grandparents, aunts, and uncles in our senior’s homes.”
Minister of Defence Harjit Sajjan says the federal government is staying in touch with allies from Italy, Greece, the United States and Turkey, who are assisting in the search for the remaining military members.
Updates, according to Sajjan, will be given as soon as it is, “appropriate to do so.”
Canada’s Cyclone helicopters have been put on an operational pause, to allow the Armed Forces to remember their colleagues and eliminate any possible issues with the helicopters until the investigation is complete.