U.S. Navy Identifies 5 Servicemembers Killed in Helicopter Crash Off Coast of San Diego

In this March 19, 2017, photo released by the U.S. Navy, an MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter prepares to land on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz in the Pacific Ocean. The Navy declared five missing sailors dead Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021, nearly a week after their helicopter, …
Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Ian Kinkead/U.S. Navy via AP

The U.S. Navy has identified the five servicemembers who were killed in a helicopter crash off the coast of San Diego last Tuesday.

The fallen servicemembers are:

Pilot Lt. Bradley Foster, 29, of Oakhurst, California:

FILE PHOTO of Lt. Bradley A. Foster, 29, a pilot from Oakhurst, California. Foster was one of five Sailors killed when an MH-60S Seahawk helicopter, assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 8, crashed approximately 60 nautical miles off the coast of San Diego, Aug. 31.

Lt. Bradley A. Foster (Credit: U.S. Navy)

Pilot Lt. Paul Fridley, 28, of Annandale, Virginia:

Lt. Paul R. Fridley (Credit: U.S. Navy)

Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Sarah Burns 31, of Seven Park, Maryland:

FILE PHOTO of Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Sarah F. Burns, 31, from Severna Park, Maryland. Burns was one of five Sailors killed when an MH-60S Seahawk helicopter, assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 8, crashed approximately 60 nautical miles off the coast of San Diego, Aug. 31.

Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Sarah F. Burns. (Credit: U.S. Navy)

Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Bailey Tucker, 21, of St. Louis, Missouri:

FILE PHOTO of Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Bailey J. Tucker, 21, from St. Louis, Missouri. Tucker was one of five Sailors killed when an MH-60S Seahawk helicopter, assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 8, crashed approximately 60 nautical miles off the coast of San Diego, Aug. 31.

Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Bailey Tucker. (Credit: U.S. Navy)

Naval Air Crewman 2nd Class James Buriak, 31, of Salem, Virginia:

FILE PHOTO of Naval Air Crewman (Helicopter) 2nd Class James P. Buriak, 31, from Salem, Virginia, with wife and son. Buriak was one of five Sailors killed when an MH-60S Seahawk helicopter, assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 8, crashed approximately 60 nautical miles off the coast of San Diego, Aug. 31.

Naval Air Crewman 2nd Class James Buriak (Credit: U.S. Navy)

The crash occurred when an MH-60S helicopter sank into the Pacific Ocean after it was operating upon the deck of the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln, which was located approximately 70 miles off the coast of San Diego. In addition to the five who perished, six sailors were injured, including one who was aboard the helicopter and five who were aboard the aircraft carrier.

Deceased Lt. Bradley Foster, who graduated from California State University Maritime Academy, leaves behind a wife and a daughter. The president of the naval academy, Tom Cropper, said in a statement that “Brad Foster represents the very best of Cal Maritime, both during his time at our academy and later in his service to the nation.” Cropper also described the character of the fallen pilot as “enthusiastic, optimistic, and mature beyond his years.” He added, “Brad took the road less traveled. I, like so many others in the Cal Maritime family, am heartbroken.” 

An in-depth search and rescue endeavor was carried out after the crash, which spanned “more than 72 hours of coordinated rescue efforts encompassing 34 search and rescue flights, over 170 hours of flight time, with five search helicopters and constant vessel search,” according to the Navy. Efforts involved the assistance of the U.S.S. Lincoln, U.S.S. Cincinnati, the Coast Guard, and two helicopter squadrons.

The crash occurred during routine flight operations, according to the Navy.

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