A Canadian military helicopter serving with a NATO naval task force has reportedly crashed in the Ionian Sea while participating in a mission in international waters off Greece.
Local media reports claim the aircraft is a Canadian military helicopter with six people aboard.
A tweet from Canadian Armed Forces operations confirmed there was an incident involving one of their CH-148 Cyclone helicopters.
“Contact was lost with the aircraft as it was participating in Allied exercises off the coast of Greece,” the military said on Twitter and Facebook. “Search and rescue efforts are currently underway.”
A spokeswoman for NATO provided little in the way of comment.
“I confirm there has been an incident involving a helicopter from a ship under NATO command,” said Col. Juanita Chang, chief of public affairs at Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers.
“There is currently a search and rescue operation being conducted and national notifications taking place.”
NATO’s Operation Reassurance
HMCS Fredericton is part of the standing NATO naval group currently in the area.
The Greek state television channel ERT reported that the helicopter had come from the Canadian frigate, which is taking part in the alliance’s Operation Reassurance meant to deter Russian aggression throughout Eastern Europe.
The crash reportedly happened late Wednesday in the Ionian Sea about 80 kilometres off the Greek resort island of Cephalonia.
HMCS Fredericton was reported to be conducting the search operation, along with an Italian frigate and a Turkish frigate.