Australian navy helicopter ditches into sea, crew rescued

Three Royal Australian Navy air crew have been rescued after their helicopter was forced to ditch into the Philippine Sea overnight.

The Defence Department said the MH-60R Seahawk helicopter was operating from the warship HMAS Brisbane on regional military exercises when it made an emergency landing in the water.

HMAS Brisbane deployed sea boats and rescued the crew about 20 minutes later.

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© Photo by Damon Coulter/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images Australian navy helicopter ditches into sea, crew rescued

The air crew received first aid for minor injuries upon their return to the warship.

Commander of the Australian Fleet, Rear Admiral Mark Hammond, praised the swift rescue operation.

“The successful rescue is credit to the devotion to duty and skill of the officers and sailors of HMAS Brisbane,” Rear Admiral Hammond said.

“Their immediate actions ensured the survival of the aircrew, validating the significant training undertaken in the event an emergency of this nature occurs.”

HMAS Brisbane and another Australian vessel HMAS Warramunga continue to search the area for any debris of the aircraft, Rear Admiral Hammond said.

Both warships had been taking part in regional military exercises.

Rear Admiral Hammond said as a precaution, the RAN has temporarily halted flying of its MH-60R Seahawk fleet.

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