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December 2, 2020

Statements regarding CAF helicopter crash in the Ionian Sea

April 30, 2020 – Ottawa – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces

One member of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) was killed on Wednesday April 29, 2020 and five other members remain missing following an accident involving a Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) CH-148 Cyclone helicopter.

Killed was Sub-Lieutenant Abbigail Cowbrough, a Maritime Systems Engineering Officer, originally from Toronto, Ontario.

Confirmed missing are:

  • Captain Brenden Ian MacDonald, Pilot, originally from New Glasgow, Nova Scotia
  • Captain Kevin Hagen, Pilot, originally from Nanaimo, British Columbia
  • Captain Maxime Miron-Morin, Air Combat Systems Officer, originally from Trois-RiviĂšres, QuĂ©bec
  • Sub-Lieutenant Matthew Pyke, Naval Warfare Officer, originally from Truro, Nova Scotia
  • Master Corporal Matthew Cousins, Airborne Electronic Sensor Operator, originally from Guelph, Ontario

HMCS Fredericton and NATO allies continue to search for the other five members of the helicopter’s crew.

The helicopter was deployed in the Mediterranean Sea with HMCS Fredericton as part of Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 under Operation REASSURANCE. At the time of the accident, the Canadian ship was conducting collaborative training with Italian and Turkish ships. The Cyclone was conducting concurrent flight operations.

The CAF are providing our members and their families with as much support as possible to include a wide range of resources to help them through this difficult time.

A RCAF Flight Safety team will depart Canada shortly to investigate the circumstances of the accident and will begin their work immediately upon arrival.

All of them are heroes,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said at a news conference Thursday. “Each of them will leave a void that cannot be filled.

Justin Trudeau – Prime minister of Canada

Yesterday, a CH-148 Cyclone helicopter accident occurred in the Ionian Sea with 4 @RCAF_ARC & 2 @RoyalCanNavy members onboard. Tragically, we can confirm the loss of one life. We continue search and rescue efforts for the other 5 missing members with all available resources. Our @CanadianForces members serve our country with dignity and courage. We are there for the families and loved ones of those impacted by this accident, as well as the crew of HMCS Fredericton. Canadians hold you in our thoughts.

Harjit Sajjan – Minister of National Defence

Our thoughts are with the families, friends and HMCS Fredericton shipmates of our CAF colleagues involved in this terrible accident. Deepest condolences to SLt Cowbrough’s friends and family across the #DefenceTeam and at home in Nova Scotia.

Jody Thomas – Deputy Minister for DND

It is with heavy hearts that we announce that one member of the #CAF was killed on Wed April 29, 2020 and five other members remain missing following an accident involving a #RCAF CH-148 Cyclone helicopter on #OpREASSURANCE.

Canadian Armed Forces

As announced, 1 CAF member is deceased & 5 missing following a helicopter crash in the Ionian Sea. On behalf of the entire CAF I send our deepest condolences to her family, friends & shipmates. May her memory be a source of comfort & inspiration to us all. We will remember.

Gen Jonathan Vance – Chief of Defence Staff

On behalf of the entire Canadian Army, I offer my deepest condolences to the family, crew members and shipmates of the Canadian Armed Forces members involved in the helicopter crash. Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone impacted by this tragedy.

LGen Wayne Eyre – Commander of the Canadian Army

Saddened by the loss of SLt Cowbrough & for the #CAF members who are missing as a result of the CH-148 Cyclone accident. Expressing my condolences to the families, friends, HMCS Fredericton shipmates & CAF colleagues who have been affected by this tragic accident.

MGen Downes, Commander Health Services Group

The tragedy in the Ionian Sea reminds us that the men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces risk their lives every day. We mourn their loss with all Canadians and offer our heartfelt condolences to the crew and their families.

Veterans Affairs Canada

Our thoughts are with the @HMCSFredericton family & our @RoyalCanNavy & @RCAF_ARC communities during this dark time. To the families & friends, the ship’s company, our sisters & brothers at 12 Wing & all others affected by this tragedy—we see you and we hold you in our hearts ❀

CFB Halifax

DĂ©clarations Ă  propos de l’Ă©crasement d’un hĂ©licoptĂšre des FAC dans la Mer Ionienne

Le 30 avril 2020 – Ottawa – DĂ©fense nationale/Forces armĂ©es canadiennes

Un militaire des Forces armĂ©es canadiennes (FAC) a Ă©tĂ© tuĂ© le mercredi 29 avril 2020, et cinq autres sont toujours portĂ©s disparus Ă  la suite d’un accident impliquant un hĂ©licoptĂšre CH-148 Cyclone de l’Aviation royale canadienne (ARC).

La victime est l’enseigne de vaisseau de 1re classe Abbigail Cowbrough, une officiĂšre du gĂ©nie des systĂšmes de marine, originaire de Toronto (Ontario).

Voici l’identitĂ© des militaires officiellement portĂ©s disparus :

  • Le capitaine Brenden Ian MacDonald, pilote, originaire de New Glasgow (Nouvelle-Écosse)
  • Le capitaine Kevin Hagen, pilote, originaire de Nanaimo (Colombie-Britannique)
  • Le capitaine Maxime Miron-Morin, officier de systĂšmes de combat aĂ©rien, originaire de Trois-RiviĂšres (QuĂ©bec)
  • L’enseigne de vaisseau de 1re classe Matthew Pyke, officier de guerre navale, originaire de Truro (Nouvelle-Écosse)
  • Le caporal-chef Matthew Cousins, opĂ©rateur de dĂ©tecteurs Ă©lectroniques aĂ©roportĂ©s, originaire de Guelph (Ontario)

Le NCSM Fredericton et les alliĂ©s de l’OTAN poursuivent la recherche des cinq autres membres de l’Ă©quipage de l’hĂ©licoptĂšre.

L’hĂ©licoptĂšre Ă©tait dĂ©ployĂ© en mer MĂ©diterranĂ©e avec le NCSM Fredericton au sein du 2e Groupe maritime permanent de l’OTAN dans le cadre de l’opĂ©ration REASSURANCE. Au moment de l’accident, le navire canadien participait Ă  un entraĂźnement collectif avec des navires italien et turc. Le Cyclone menait simultanĂ©ment des opĂ©rations de vol.

Les FAC offrent aux militaires et Ă  leur famille le meilleur soutien possible, notamment un large Ă©ventail de ressources pour les aider Ă  traverser ces moments difficiles.

Une Ă©quipe de sĂ©curitĂ© aĂ©rienne de l’ARC quittera le Canada prochainement pour mener une enquĂȘte sur les circonstances entourant l’accident. Les membres de l’équipe se mettront au travail dĂšs leur arrivĂ©e.

Au nom de tous les Canadiens, je tiens à offrir mes plus sincÚres condoléances aux familles, aux amis, à leurs camarades de bord et aux membres des Forces armées canadiennes.

Justin Trudeau – Premier ministre du Canada

Hier, un accident tragique est survenu dans la mer Ionienne impliquant un hĂ©licoptĂšre CH-148 Cyclone. 4 membres de la @ARC_RCAF & 2 de la @MarineRoyaleCan Ă©taient Ă  bord. On peut malheureusement confirmer la perte d’une vie. Nos recherches se poursuivent pour les 5 autres membres. Nos membres des @ForcesCanada servent notre pays avec dignitĂ© et courage. On est prĂ©sents pour les familles et les proches des gens touchĂ©s par l’accident et pour l’équipage du NCSM Fredericton. Les Canadiens vous gardent tous dans leurs pensĂ©es.

Harjit Sajjan – Ministre de la DĂ©fense nationale

Nos pensĂ©es accompagnent les familles, amis & camarades d’équipage du NCSM Fredericton de nos collĂšgues des FAC victimes de ce terrible accident. Nos plus sincĂšres condolĂ©ances Ă  la famille & aux proches de l’Ens 1 Cowbrough au sein de l’#ÉquipeDĂ©fense & en Nouvelle-Écosse.

Jody Thomas – Sous-ministre du MDN

C’est le cƓur lourd que nous vous annonçons qu’une membre des Forces armĂ©es canadiennes a pĂ©ri ce mercredi 29 avril 2020, et que cinq autres militaires sont toujours portĂ©s disparus Ă  la suite d’un accident impliquant un hĂ©licoptĂšre CH-148 Cyclone de l’ARC participant Ă  l’#OpREASSURANCE. « Bon vent, bonne mer »

Forces armées canadiennes

Au nom des FAC, j’offre nos sincĂšres sympathies a la famille, amis et camarades de bord. Que nos souvenirs nous portent rĂ©confort & inspiration. Nous nous souviendrons. JV

GĂ©n Jonathan Vance – Chef d’Ă©tat-major de la dĂ©fense

Au nom de toute l’ArmĂ©e canadienne, j’offre mes plus sincĂšres condolĂ©ances aux familles, aux membres d’équipage et aux camarades de bord des membres des FAC impliquĂ©s dans l’écrasement d’hĂ©licoptĂšre. Nos pensĂ©es et priĂšres accompagnent tous ceux touchĂ©s par cette tragĂ©die.

LgĂ©n Wayne Eyre – Commandant de l’ArmĂ©e canadienne

AttristĂ© par la perte de l’ens 1 Cowbrough, et les membres #FAC qui sont portĂ©s disparus Ă  la suite de l’accident d’hier. Je prĂ©sente mes condolĂ©ances aux familles, amis, compagnons NCSM Fredericton et collĂšgues FAC touchĂ©s par ce tragique accident.

MgĂ©n Downes – Commandant du Groupe des services de santĂ©

Nos pensĂ©es accompagnent le @HMCSFredericton, la @MarineRoyaleCan & l’@ARC_RCAF durant cette dure Ă©preuve. Nous sommes de tout cƓur avec les familles & les amis, l’équipage, nos frĂšres & nos sƓurs de la 12e Escadre & toutes les personnes touchĂ©es par cette tragĂ©die ❀

BFC Halifax
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