2 naval officers killed in helicopter crash in the Caribbean

A crash involving an NH90 maritime combat helicopter has claimed the lives of 2 of the 4 crew members on board. They are 34-year-old pilot Christine Martens and 33-year-old tactical coordinator Erwin Warnies, both in the rank of lieutenant. The helicopter came down in the Caribbean Sea near Aruba on Sunday at the end of a coastguard patrol.

Chief of Defence Admiral Rob Bauer made the announcement at a press conference in The Hague. The families of the victims had already been informed by the Ministry of Defence.

The other 2 crew members escaped without serious injury.

The NH90 is part of the patrol ship HNLMS Groningen. A coastguard helicopter and a Defence diving team are helping HNLMS Groningen to secure the NH90. The main priority is to recover the flight recorder (black box).

The NL Defence Safety Inspectorate is expected to conduct an investigation.

Online condolence book on defensie.nl

An online book of condolence has now been opened on www.defensie.nl.