The names of five American sailors who were killed off the coast of California in a helicopter crash in August have been released by the Navy.
In a statement put out on Sunday, the Navy identified the names of the sailors who were killed in the crash. The incident is under investigation.
The names of the seamen were as follows: Lt. Bradley A. Foster, 29, a pilot from Oakhurst, California, Lt. Paul R. Fridley, 28, a pilot from Annandale, Virginia, Naval Air Crewman (Helicopter) 2nd Class James P. Buriak, 31, from Salem, Virginia, Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Sarah F. Burns, 31, from Severna Park, Maryland, and Hospital Corpsman, 3rd Class Bailey J. Tucker, 21, from St. Louis, Missouri.
The sailors were in a MH-60S helicopter about 60 nautical miles out from San Diego, when they crashed into the ocean on August 31. Their helicopter was assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron.
Several of the sailors left behind young families.
Foster, a graduate of Cal Maritime leaves behind a wife and daughter. “Brad Foster represents the very best of Cal Maritime,” said Cal Maritime President Tom Cropper, “Both during time his time at our academy and later in his service to the nation. Enthusiastic, optimistic, and mature beyond his years, Brad took the road less traveled.”
Another one of the fallen seaman, James Buriak, is survived by his wife and young son. According to Roanoke College, where he graduated from in 2012, he earned praise for a heroic rescue in 2020 saving someone from drowning off the coast of Guam.
“He quickly leapt into action and swam his way toward a man who was swept up in a rip current. Buriak was able to pull the man from the current and get him to shore, difficult in part because of the man’s exhaustion and the coral reefs that surround the island,” Roanoke College News reported.
On Saturday, the Navy announced that the mission to find the sailors was changing from search and rescue to recovery.
“The U.S. Navy has declared the five missing crew members of an MH-60S helicopter crash, deceased. U.S. 3rd Fleet has shifted from search and rescue efforts to recovery operations, Sept. 4,” the Navy said.
The Navy added, “The transition from search and rescue efforts to recovery operations comes after more than 72 hours of coordinated rescue efforts encompassing 34 search and rescue flights, over 170 hours of flight time, with 5 search helicopters and constant surface vessel search.”
Resources from Coast Guard District 11, the USS Abraham Lincoln, the USS Cincinnati, and helicopters from the U.S. Pacific Fleet Helicopter Sea Combat Wing and Helicopter Maritime Strike Wing were utilized in the rescue efforts.
The rescue efforts included the saving of at least one crew member according to the Associated Press. The crash, operating off of the USS Abraham Lincoln, also led to the injury of five crew members of the carrier. They are reported to be in stable condition.
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