SAN DIEGO – The U.S. Navy Sunday released the names of the five sailors killed when a helicopter crashed into the sea off the coast of San Diego this week.
One of the five killed was 29-year-old Lt. Bradley A. Foster of Oakhurst who was a pilot on board the MH-60S Seahawk helicopter when it crashed.
Foster was a 2015 graduate of the California State University Maritime Academy in Vallejo.
“Brad Foster represents the very best of Cal Maritime,” said President Tom Cropper, “both during time his time at our academy and later in his service to the nation. Enthusiastic, optimistic, and mature beyond his years, Brad took the road less traveled. I, like so many others in the Cal Maritime family, am heartbroken. We send our condolences, love, and support to his wife Beth and daughter Audrey and all of his family. Though too short, we celebrate his well lived life and hold his memory dear.”
The additional four fallen service members were identified as:
- Lt. Paul R. Fridley, 28, a pilot from Annandale, Virginia
- Naval Air Crewman (Helicopter) 2nd Class James P. Buriak, 31, from Salem, Virginia
- Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Sarah F. Burns, 31, from Severna Park, Maryland
- Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Bailey J. Tucker, 21, from St. Louis, Missouri
Military officials announced Saturday that the search for the sailors was now being considered a recovery effort after several days of searching for signs the sailors had survived when the chopper crashed into the ocean Tuesday.
One sailor aboard the MH-60S Seahawk was pulled from the ocean after the aircraft went down roughly 60 nautical miles offshore. The crash occurred from the deck of the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln, the Navy said, but officials have not explained the specific circumstances of the accident.
The rescued sailor and two others who had been aboard the San Diego-based carrier when they were injured were taken ashore for medical care. Another three crew members on the ship suffered minor injuries and remained on the vessel.
An investigation is underway into what caused the crash of the aircraft in the first place. Navy officials have said only that it “was operating on deck before crashing into the sea,” and did not confirm whether the helicopter was attempting a takeoff or landing.