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First victim identified after Canadian military helicopter goes down in Mediterranean

Last Updated Apr 30, 2020 at 8:46 am PDT

Abbigail Cowbrough in a Facebook photo posted by Regal Heights Baptist Church.

One of the victim's in Wednesday's Canadian Armed Forces helicopter crash in the Mediterranean has been identified

Family members in Nova Scotia have confirmed Abbigal Cowbrough was among those killed

The Canadian Armed Forces confirmed Wednesday that one of its aircraft was lost and that a search operation was underway

OTTAWA – One of the victim’s in Wednesday’s Canadian Armed Forces helicopter crash in the Mediterranean has been identified.

Shane Cowbrough posted a message on Facebook saying Abbigail Cowbrough died when the Cyclone helicopter went down in the sea during a NATO exercise on Wednesday. NEWS 95.7 in Halifax also confirmed the news with immediate family.

“I am broken and gutted. Today I lost my oldest daughter Abbigail Cowbrough in the crash involving the Cyclone from HMCS Fredericton,” her father said in the post.

“There are no words. You made me forever proud. I will love you always, and miss you in every moment. You are the bright light in my life taken far too soon.”

Last week, Cowbrough, a crew member of the Halifax-class frigate HMCS Fredericton, stood on deck and piped Amazing Grace to honour those who died from the coronavirus in Nova Scotia.

“My beautiful daughter has been in a military accident and passed away. She will no longer pipe her songs to all those that loves her. … The very beating no fluttering of my heart has stopped. Nothing can replace her,” Abbigail’s mother, Tanya Cowbrough, said on Facebook.

In a Facebook post, the church Cowbrough attended in Dartmouth described her as a “wonderful woman.”

The post adds the church community is “heartbroken” by the loss, and that it would “surround her family as we walk with them through this and we will keep you posted on ways you can help.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed on Thursday that six members of the Canadian Armed Forces were onboard the Cyclone helicopter, which can carry a crew of four people, plus two pilots, a tactical operator and a sensor operator, with space for several passengers. The military has said family members of those who were on board the aircraft when it went down have been notified, but have not released any of their names.


Greek state broadcaster ERT was first to report that a Canadian military helicopter had gone down in the water between Italy and Greece on Wednesday.

The broadcaster later said one body had been found and five others on board were missing. The Canadian government has also confirmed only one body has been recovered so far, and that data and voice recorders have been recovered from the aircraft.

The Cyclone that went down on Wednesday was deployed with the Halifax-class frigate HMCS Fredericton as part of a NATO maritime force in the Mediterranean.

Meanwhile, Greece’s prime minister has expressed his condolences as rescuers continue their search for the military aircraft.

Kyriakos Mitsotakis said he would also be contacting Trudeau to express his condolences, personally.

-With files from The Canadian Press