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Navy identifies 5 San Diego sailors killed in helicopter crash off coast

An MH-60R Sea Hawk helicopter
An MH-60R Sea Hawk helicopter takes off from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln. A similar Navy helicopter operating from the ship crashed off the coast of San Diego Tuesday.
(Petty Officer 2nd Class Amber Smalley / U.S. Navy)

Five sailors killed when their helicopter crashed on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln and fell into the sea were identified by the Navy on Sunday.

The six-person crew of the MH-60S Seahawk helicopter was conducting routine operations on the flight deck of the carrier Tuesday afternoon when the helicopter crashed. One sailor was rescued from the water and is in stable condition, the Navy said.

The crash is under investigation.

A three-day search for survivors was called off Saturday morning.

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The sailors killed include two pilots, an aircrewman and two corpsmen, the Navy said. All were attached to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 8, which is based at Naval Air Station North Island.

The Abraham Lincoln is also based at the air station.

Lt. Sam Boyle, a spokesperson for the San Diego-based 3rd Fleet, said the Navy is making every effort to recover the helicopter and the remains of the sailors.

They are:

  • Lt. Bradley A. Foster, 29, a pilot from Oakhurst, Calif. Foster graduated from the California State University Maritime Academy in Vallejo, Calif., where he studied studied global studies and maritime affairs, his Facebook profile says. He was married, and the couple had a daughter who recently turned one.
    Lt. Bradley A. Foster
    Lt. Bradley A. Foster, 29.
    (U.S. Navy)
  • Lt. Paul R. Fridley, 28, a pilot from Annandale, Va. Fridley studied mechanical engineering at the University of Virginia and was married, according to his Facebook profile.
Lt. Paul R. Fridley
Lt. Paul R. Fridley, 28.
(U.S. Navy)

  • Naval Air Crewman (Helicopter) 2nd Class James P. Buriak, 31, from Salem, Va. According to his Facebook profile, Buriak studied sports management at Roanoke College in Salem, Va. and was married.

    Naval Air Crewman 2nd Class James P. Buriak, wife Megan, and son Caulder
    Naval Air Crewman (Helicopter) 2nd Class James P. Buriak, 31, wife Megan and son Caulder.
    (U.S. Navy)

  • Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Sarah F. Burns, 31, from Severna Park, Md.
    Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Sarah F. Burns
    Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Sarah F. Burns, 31.
    (U.S. Navy )
  • Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Bailey J. Tucker, 21, from St. Louis, Mo.
    Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Bailey J. Tucker
    Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Bailey J. Tucker, 21.
    ( U.S. Navy)

The loss of the five sailors bookends a grim week for San Diego’s military community. Ten troops based at Camp Pendleton — nine Marines and one sailor — were among the 13 service members killed in a suicide bomb attack at the Kabul airport on Aug. 26.

Union-Tribute staff writer Lyndsay Winkley contributed to this story.


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