HMCS Fredericton returns after six-month mission marked by tragic helicopter crash

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HMCS Fredericton is returning home today, nearly three months after a deadly helicopter crash that claimed the lives of six crew members.

The members of the Canadian Armed Forces lost their lives when a Cyclone helicopter crashed into the Ionian Sea off the coast of Greece on April 29 while returning from a NATO training mission.

The Royal Canadian Navy ship was docked in Italy for two weeks, but resumed its mission in mid-May, completing a six-month deployment in the Mediterranean Sea.

The Halifax-class frigate is expected to arrive today amid COVID-19 measures that will drastically change usual return protocols.

The crash of the CH-148 Cyclone helicopter, known as Stalker 22, caused the worst loss of life in one day for the Canadian Armed Forces since six Canadian soldiers were killed in a roadside bombing in Afghanistan on Easter Sunday 2007.

A Royal Canadian Air Force flight safety investigation into the circumstances of the accident is ongoing.