Wreckage Recovered from Area Where GSDF Helicopter Disappeared

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Wreckage is seen on a salvage vessel off Miyako Island, Okinawa Prefecture, at 11:50 a.m. on Tuesday.

A salvage crew recovered Tuesday wreckage believed to be the Ground Self-Defense Force helicopter that went missing last month with 10 people aboard near Miyako Island in Okinawa Prefecture.

The wreckage was lifted from the seabed about 6 kilometers north of Irabu Island at a depth of about 106 meters, according to the GSDF and other sources.

On April 6, a GSDF UH-60JA multi-purpose helicopter carrying Lt. Gen. Yuichi Sakamoto and other senior personnel took off from the Miyakojima Sub Base at 3:46 p.m. and disappeared from radar 10 minutes later.

Koyo Maru, a private salvage vessel, launched efforts to recover the wreckage from the seabed using a large net on April 28.

Cable was observed being lowered into the sea from the deck of the Koyo Maru on Tuesday morning and at around 11:45 a.m., the wreckage emerged from the surface of the water.

Six bodies have been recovered so far and the identities of five have been confirmed. The search for the remaining personnel is ongoing.