US Navy helicopter crashes off Norfolk, Virginia

The MH-53E Sea Dragon (file photo)
The MH-53E Sea Dragon is used to search for seaborne mines and also for heavy-lift missions

Two of four crew members rescued after a US Navy Helicopter crashed off Norfolk, Virginia, have died, officials say, while a fifth is still missing.

The US Navy MH-53E Sea Dragon was on a routine training mission.

US Coast Guard officials said they responded to a downed aircraft report at about 11:00 (16:00 GMT).

In a bizarre coincidence, the incident came a day after another US military helicopter crashed in the county of Norfolk, England, killing four people.

The helicopter involved in Tuesday’s crash in the UK was a HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter that belonged to the US Air Force.

Naval Station Norfolk

The aircraft in Wednesday’s incident went down 18 nautical miles (33km) east of the Virginia coast. The cause of the crash is not yet known.

Two of the four people rescued and flown to a local hospital later died.

Petty Officer David Weydert said that the missing fifth person was still being sought.

The Coast Guard cutter Shearwater and two MH-60S helicopters are taking part in the search.

The downed helicopter was assigned to Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron 14 (HM-14), the commander of Naval Air Force Atlantic said in a statement.

Norfolk, Virginia, is an important hub for the US military, and is home to Naval Station Norfolk, the largest naval complex in the world.

The water temperature there is about 6C (42F), according to US weather officials.

The helicopter is typically used in deliveries and in mine countermeasures.

The same model of helicopter crashed in 2012 in Oman, killing two Navy crew members.

Jamaican wins 2013 Congressional Black Caucus Award


Dr Goulda Downer (centre) receives the 2013 Congressional Black Caucus Healthcare Leadership Award from Congresswoman Donna Christiansen while President and CEO of the National Minority Quality Forum, Dr Gary Puckrein, looks on.


WASHINGTON, United States (JIS) — Jamaican-born Howard University assistant Professor of Medicine Dr Goulda Downer is the recipient of the 2013 Congressional Black Caucus Health Brain Trust Leadership in Advocacy Award.

Dr Downer is also the recipient of the 2013 Health Care Leadership Award from the Washington Metropolitan Area Chapter of the National Association of Health Services Executives.

Her work has helped to strengthen the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) clinical workforce across the USA and she has been instrumental in educating and training more than 46,000 clinicians and care providers to deliver culturally competent, quality HIV care. Her work has also been credited with helping to stem the tide of HIV/AIDS within the US.

“I am deeply honoured to be recognised for my work, and to receive the 2013 Congressional Black Caucus Health Brain Trust Leadership in Advocacy Award. I accept the award on behalf of my colleagues and Howard University,” said Dr Downer.

In her position with Howard University’s College of Medicine, she oversees the mission of the university’s Capital Region AETC Telehealth Training Centre’s distance-based HIV technology programme. The Centre is currently funded by the US federal government.

A graduate of Providence Primary School, Excelsior High School and the College of Arts, Science and Technology (CAST), [now the University of Technology, UTech] Dr Downer received her undergraduate degree in Human Nutrition from the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York.

She then pursued her Master and Doctoral degrees at Howard University, focusing on clinical, public health, international and sports nutrition. She won a postdoctoral fellowship in paediatric nutrition at Georgetown University and was also trained by the Johns Hopkins University in nutritional epidemiology.

Dr Downer established the Howard University Caribbean Clinicians Preceptorship Programme (HUCCPP). Its goal is to strengthen the health workforce of HIV clinicians in the Caribbean.

Under the programme, 47 clinicians from the eight Caribbean countries with the highest HIV rates received training at Howard University in the skills necessary to provide competent, state-of-the-art HIV management in their native countries.

Dr Downer has also been involved in several international initiatives to assess the impact of the USAID Title II programme on food security, food aid and the health and nutritional status of country participants in Sub-Saharan Africa.  She has also worked on nutrition and food related strategies to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV.

She is the founder, president, and CEO of the Washington, DC-based METROPLEX Health and Nutrition Services, which was established in 1994.