The Navy said it successfully recovered an F/A-18E Super Hornet that blew overboard from an aircraft carrier last month.
The service previously said the aircraft was blown overboard from the USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) on July 8 due to unexpectedly heavy weather in the Mediterranean Sea while the carrier was conducting a replenishment at sea (Defense Daily, July 11).
The Navy now says the Super Hornet was recovered from about 9,500 feet deep by a team embarked on the multi-purpose construction vessel (MPV) Everest.
The team included personnel from Task Force 68, which commands all U.S. Naval Expeditionary Forces in the European and African Commands’ areas of operations; Naval Sea Systems Command’s Supervisor of Salvage and Diving (SUPSALV); CVN-75; Naval Strike Fighter Wing Atlantic; and U.S. Sixth Fleet.
They recovered the aircraft by using a cable-controlled undersea recovery vehicle CURV-21 remotely operated vehicle to attach special rigging and lift lines to it, then a lifting hook was attached to the rigging to raise the aircraft to the surface and bring it aboard the Everest.
“The rapid response of the combined team, including SUPSALV and Phoenix International personnel, allowed us to conduct safe recovery operations within 27 days of the incident,” Lt. Cmdr. Miguel Lewis, U.S. Sixth Fleet salvage officer, said in a statement.
Lewis also said the search and recovery took less than 24 hours.
Phoenix International has a contract with the Navy’s Director of Ocean Engineering, Supervisor of Salvage and Diving (SUPSALV) for conducting worldwide rapid response undersea search, salvage, recovery and rescue operations.
The Navy said after recovery the Super Hornet was delivered to an unspecified nearby military installation before it it is sent back to the U.S.