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Divers Recover Body Of Missing Navy Pilot From Santee

Lt. Sean Christopher Snyder
U.S. Navy
Lt. Sean Christopher Snyder

The Navy announced Tuesday night that divers recovered the body of Lt. Sean Snyder from the wreckage of a MH-53E "Sea Dragon" helicopter that crashed off the coast of Virginia last week.

Snyder, 39, was from Santee in eastern San Diego County.

According to a Navy news release, divers from Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit 2, operating aboard USNS Grasp, found the downed helicopter's cockpit with a remotely operated vehicle. Snyder's remains were in that wreckage.


The Snyder family has released the following statement:

Divers have recovered the remains of Lt. Sean Snyder. The family is truly thankful to the men and women of the United States Navy.

Sean was a man of honor and a true hero, not only to his country, but also to his wife, children, family, and friends. Our strength and trust remain in Christ.
As Home Post previously reported, five crew members were aboard the MH-53E when it crashed Jan. 8. All five were assigned to Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron (HM) 14:
Four of the crew members were rescued and taken to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital for treatment.

Two crewmembers died at the hospital from their injuries. The two other rescued crewmembers have been released from the hospital.
Naval Station Norfolk will hold a memorial service Friday for Snyder, Lieutenant J. Wesley Van Dorn, 29, of Greensboro, N.C., and Naval Aircrewman (Helicopter) (AWS-3) Brian Andrew Collins, 25, of Truckee, Calif.