The Department of National Defence (DND) says the remains of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members and a large part of the helicopter they crashed in have been located.
In a news release, DND said they were located early Wednesday morning by the CAF and United States navy search and recovery team near the CH-148 Cyclone crash site.
The crash site is approximately 220 nautical miles east of Catania, Sicily, where the team recently travelled to from Souda Bay, Greece.
The remains and a large piece of the fuselage were discovered by a REMORA III remotely-operated vehicle over three kilometres below sea level.
“Over the next hours and days, the recovery team will continue their search for both our fallen and additional pieces of the wreckage,” DND said in the release.
“We remain committed to staying on site for as long as necessary.”
The CH-148 Cyclone helicopter crashed into the Ionian Sea on April 29 within sight of the Halifax-class frigate HMCS Fredericton while participating in a NATO training mission.
All six service members on board were killed.
The body of Sub-Lt. Abbigail Cowbrough and partial remains of Capt. Brenden Ian MacDonald were recovered in the days that followed the crash.
DND says families of the military personnel who were recently discovered have been informed.
Lt.-Gen. Mike Rouleau, commander of Canadian Joint Operations Command, is calling the discovering “encouraging news.”
“We do not leave our fallen behind, and recovering Stalker 22’s crew is of the utmost importance to all of us in the Canadian Armed Forces and the Department of National Defence,” he said.
“Retrieving the helicopter itself will also go a long way in helping us to understand what occurred on April 29.
“I commend the combined CAF-US Navy search team for their professionalism and singular devotion to this task, and my thoughts remain with the loved ones of our fallen comrades.”
DND says they will be providing more updates at a media availability, which will be organized in the coming days.