Rescue authorities have found the body of one of five missing people from last Thursday’s helicopter crash in the East Sea near Dokdo.
Rescue authorities have found the remains of one more of the five people missing after a helicopter crash in the East Sea near Dokdo last Thursday.
According to the Korea Coast Guard East Regional Headquarters, Tuesday, a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) of the Navy’s Cheonghaejin vessel discovered the body at around 12:30 a.m. in the same spot the crashed chopper’s fuselage was found before being salvaged.
The rescue team attempted to deploy divers to retrieve the body at 2:40 a.m. but the Cheonghaejin showed unstable electronic signals, so they suspended recovery operations until later in the day.
Rescue authorities suspect the body had been in the recovered chopper but had gone missing during Sunday’s salvage work. They said at the time that they installed a double-layered net to hold onto the body during the salvage operations but the nets were destroyed due to the heavy equipment inside the helicopter and the body went missing.
Earlier on Saturday, they recovered the bodies of men who were later identified as the chopper’s co-pilot and chief mechanic, after finding them 110 meters and 150 meters away from the fuselage, respectively.
The rescue team said it would continue the search operations with more than 100 divers, over 20 naval vessels six aircrafts and three drones, to find the remaining missing bodies.
They said they did not receive any signals from the chopper’s emergency locator transmitter (ELT), which should send a signal in emergencies.
The authorities also confirmed the chopper’s tail was lying 114 meters away from the crash site on the ocean floor, 72 meters below the surface.
“We believe the black box and voice recorder will be inside the tail. The devices will help us find out the cause of the crash and give hints about why the ELT failed to work,” an official from the headquarters said.
“Though, we will put a priority in finding the missing bodies, rather than salvaging the black box.”
The National 119 Rescue Headquarters’ ambulance helicopter was on a mission to transfer a fisherman, whose thumb had been severed, carrying the patient, a friend and five rescue workers.
But it crashed into the sea only two to three minutes after it took off from Dokdo on Thursday night.