Crashed GSDF Helicopter to Be Retrieved Monday or Later

The Yomiuri Shimbun
The Shin Sei Maru salvage vessel is seen off the coast of Miyako Island, Okinawa Prefecture, on Sunday.

High waves Sunday halted work to recover the Ground Self-Defense Force helicopter that crashed into the sea off Miyako Island in Okinawa Prefecture last month.

The recovery has been postponed until Monday or later, depending on wave conditions and other factors, a government source said.

Preparations started Saturday with the Shin Sei Maru salvage vessel commissioned by the GSDF apparently deploying an unmanned underwater vehicle and a large net off the western coast of Ikema Island, which connects to Miyako Island via a bridge.

The chopper was carrying 10 personnel when it went missing on April 6. It is thought that the fuselage will be loaded into the net and hauled from the water.

Five bodies have so far been recovered from the aircraft. The Self-Defense Forces are working to recover a sixth body found nearby while continuing to search for the four other people who remain missing.