Commanding Officer Among Three Killed as Canadian Coast Guard Helicopter Crashes into Arctic Ocean

Mike Schuler
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September 10, 2013

File photo of the CCGS Amundsen.

A helicopter assigned to a Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker has crashed into the Arctic Ocean, killing all three people on board including the icebreaker’s Commanding Officer.

The helicopter was on a reconnoissance mission with the Canadian Coast Guard research icebreaker, Amundsen, when it crashed into the sea in the Canadian Arctic on Monday.

The crash occurred at 8 p.m. ET (6 p.m. MT) Monday in the M’Clure Strait, about 600 kilometers west of Resolute in Canada’s northwest territories, Canada’s CBC has reported.

The three victims have been identified as Marc Thibault, Commanding Officer of the CCGS Amundsen; Daniel Dubé, the helicopter pilot; and Klaus Hochheim, a scientist with the University of Manitoba and affiliated with the ArcticNet project.

The bodies of the three victims have been recovered by crews aboard the Amundsen.

The icebreaker had recently departed Resolute on an Arctic research expedition and was at sea when the crash occurred.

The helicopter, a Messerschmitt BO 105S, was doing a recon mission on the state of the ice in the area when it crashed, the CBC report said.

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) says it has launched an investigation into the crash.

Canada’s Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, Gail Shea, along with Minister of Transport, Lisa Raitt, issued the following statement Tuesday expressing their condolences to the families of the victims:

We were shocked and deeply saddened upon hearing of the tragic crash of the helicopter assigned to the CCGS Amundsen.

The brave men and women of the Canadian Coast Guard and Transport Canada regularly put the well-being of others ahead of their own comfort and safety. Tragic incidents like this remind us how thankful we should be for those who serve so faithfully, and to their families.”

We are confident that investigators from the Transportation Safety Board, with the support of officials from the Canadian Coast Guard and the Department of Transport, will be able to provide further insight on this tragedy.

As with all Canadians, we share our heartfelt condolences and thoughts with the families, loved ones, and colleagues of these three men.

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