The Netherlands Navy NH90 helicopter that crashed into the sea in the Caribbean on 19 July has been recovered following a salvage operation led by the Dutch MoD.
The Maritime Capacity Alliance carried out the salvage operation with the help of the recovery vessel ‘Volantis’ and an underwater robot. This civil-military team was made up of helicopter technicians from the Netherlands defense organization and civilian recovery specialists, the Dutch MoD announced September 18.
When the NH90 crashed into the sea, its tail piece broke off. The aircraft was therefore recovered in two parts. The tail piece and the hull are now being shipped to the Netherlands. The Defence Safety Inspectorate will examine them as part of their investigation into the circumstances of the crash.
The NH90 helicopter had crashed in the Caribbean Sea near the island of Aruba, killing two of the four people on board, the Dutch defense ministry had announced in July. The crash happened some 12.5 kilometers off the coast of the Dutch island at the end of a coast patrol surveillance flight on Sunday.
The helicopter’s 34-year-old pilot Christine Martens and 33-year old tactical coordinator Erwin Warnies were killed. The other two crew members were lightly injured.
Pending an investigation into the crash, all Dutch NH90 helicopters had been grounded until further notice.