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Family mourns Sub-Lt. Matthew Pyke after Cyclone helicopter crash

‘Fair winds and following seas,’: Navy spokesperson reads statement on behalf of the family of Sub-Lt. Matthew Pyke
A Royal Canadian Navy spokesperson read a statement to the media Tuesday morning in Halifax on behalf of Naval Warfare Officer Sub-Lt. Matthew Pyke of Truro, N.S., one of the six Canadian Forces members who died after a Cyclone helicopter crashed in the Ionian Sea off the coast of Greece last week.

The family of Sub-Lt. Matthew Pyke, one of the six Royal Canadian Navy members who died in last week’s helicopter crash off the coast of Greece, is remembering him as a patriotic Canadian who was always willing to help others.

“Matthew was happiest when he knew he was contributing to something greater than himself,” a Royal Canadian Navy spokesperson read Tuesday morning, on behalf of Pyke’s family.

Pyke was on the Cyclone based on Halifax’s HMCS Fredericton when the helicopter crashed in the Ionian Sea. 

READ MORE: Fatal Canadian Forces helicopter crash witnessed by HMCS Fredericton crew, DND says

The ship and aircraft were deployed to the Mediterranean in January on a NATO-related patrolling mission.

Initial reports of the crash stated the helicopter was missing. It was revealed Monday that several HMCS Fredericton crew members witnessed the aircraft going down.

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Investigations are still underway, as recorders from the chopper were recovered and shipped back to Canada. 

Veterans mark helicopter crash at CFB Shearwater
Veterans mark helicopter crash at CFB Shearwater

Meanwhile, families back home mourn the loss of those who died. Sub-Lt. Abbigail Cowbrough, Capt. Brenden Ian MacDonald, Capt. Kevin Hagen, Capt. Maxime Miron-Morin and Master Cpl. Matthew Cousins died with Pyke.

Growing up in Truro, Pyke was a community leader and a patriotic Canadian, said the family’s statement. 

The 34-year-old left behind his parents, brother and fiancée Helen Hines.

“He was continually on the lookout for his friends and family,” the statement read.

“He passed away doing what he felt he was born to do – serve others.

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“A true Maritimer, Matthew led with his heart on his sleeve, and was always ready to help. And as East Coasters are known for, he loved a good time.”

READ MORE: Debris suggests Navy helicopter struck water fast, reason remains unknown, experts say

The military is preparing a ramp ceremony Wednesday, at Canadian Forces Base Trenton in Ontario, to honour the Cyclone crew. 

 Pyke’s family is in their grieving process and asks for their privacy to be respected.