A 5000 ton specialized salvage ship is heading towards the CF Helicopter crash site near Cantania Italy. On board is a combined Canadian and American military recovery team hoping retrieve the wreckage of a downed CH-148 Cyclone helicopter. The ship, the EDT Hercules is a Offshore supply vessel built in 2014 in Spain.
In a statement issued Monday, the Department of National Defence said the vessel is expected to take two days to arrive at the crash site.
The body of Sub-Lt. Abbigail Cowbrough was recovered almost immediately after the April 29 crash. The partial remains of one of the Cyclone’s pilots, Capt. Brenden Ian MacDonald, also was retrieved from the crash scene.
The remaining members on board the flight — Capt. Kevin Hagen, Capt. Maxime Miron-Morin, Sub-Lt. Matthew Pyke and Master Cpl. Matthew Cousins — are missing and presumed dead.
Retrieving the wreckage from about 3,000 metres of water is going to be a difficult and complicated task. Aboard the Hercules is a American remotely-operated submersible which is capable of diving in deep waters. Defence officials were reluctant last week to offer a timeline for the recovery operation because much will depend on weather and sea conditions in the area.