- "I can assure you, we will get answers in due course," said the Prime Minister.
- The Minister of Defense, Harjit Sajjan, confirmed that the flight data recorder and voice recorder had been found.
- Nova Scotia’s Premier, Stephen McNeil, said it was yet another mourning period in the province
A member of the Canadian Navy has died and five others are missing after a Canadian military helicopter crashed in the Mediterranean Sea yesterday. While confirming the incident, the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said of the six people on board, only the body of Sub-Lieutenant Abbigail Cowbrough was found.
However, Trudeau kept hope alive that those missing would be found alive. Trudeau said that the cause of the crash was not known. “I can assure you, we will get answers in due course,” said the Prime Minister.
The Minister of Defense, Harjit Sajjan, confirmed that the flight data recorder and voice recorder had been found, and the flight safety team was investigating. Sajjan added that the federal government was working with Italy, Greece, Turkey and the US allies who were helping in the search of the missing persons.
The Prime Minister said that all the members aboard the plane were heroes as he pledged his support. “On behalf of all Canadians, I would like to offer my support to the family, friends and to the members of the Canadian Armed Forces, to the people of Halifax and to the people of Nova Scotia, we are with you,” he said.
The province of Nova Scotia has received another blow from losing one of them. Cowbrough was a Marine systems engineering officer in the crash. The province was still coming to terms with the recent mass shooting that claimed 22 people. Nova Scotia’s Premier, Stephen McNeil, said it was yet another mourning period in the province, and added that two of the missing people were also from Nova Scotia.
Cowbrough was described by a friend as a bubbly, loving and charismatic person. “Today I lost my oldest daughter Abiggail Cowbrough in the crash involving Cyclone from HMCS Fredericton. There are no words. You have made me forever proud. I will love you always, and miss you every moment. You are the bright light in my life taken far too son,” Cowbrough’s father said. He added that he felt broken. Her mother said that nothing could replace her.
The Royal Canadian chopper, a Sikorsky Cyclone, was operating off a Canadian frigate when it crashed into the sea, between Greece and Italy, while on its way back. It had been deployed on board the Halifax-class frigate, HMCS Fredericton, and was participating in a NATO training exercise.
HMCS Fredericton left Halifax with the Cyclone for a six month deployment to Europe in January as part of NATO task force. It was entrusted with the role of guarding against Russian aggression by patrolling the Mediterranean and Black Seas. The Fredericton had continued with its operation despite the coronavirus pandemic.
Following the accident, Canada’s Cyclone helicopters have halted their operations so as to mourn their colleagues. The Royal Canadian Air has 17 more Cyclones.