Record Breaking Deep Ocean Salvage of MH-60S Helicopter Near Okinawa, Japan

Phoenix International Holdings, Inc. (Phoenix), under the direction of the U.S. Navy’s Supervisor of Salvage and Diving (SUPSALV), located and recovered the fuselage of a downed MH-60S Seahawk helicopter in the Pacific, near Okinawa, Japan, from a record breaking depth of 19,075 feet.

This equates to just over 3.6 miles beneath the sea and is 266 feet deeper than the previous salvage record, also set by Phoenix and SUPSALV during an operation in 2019. The helicopter was located in March of 2020 using the U.S. Navy’s Autonomous Underwater Vehicle “Trondheim” and then, a year later, Phoenix and SUPSALV returned to the site and recovered the helicopter on March 21st, 2021 using the U.S. Navy’s Remotely Operated Vehicle “CURV 21” and Fly Away Deep Ocean Salvage System. Both Trondheim and CURV 21 are rated to operate down to 20,000 feet.

Phoenix is an employee-owned, ISO 9001-2015 Management System certified marine services contractor providing manned and unmanned underwater solutions, design engineering, and project management services to a diverse set of clients worldwide. Expertise is available from seven regional offices in the areas of wet and dry hyperbaric welding, Nondestructive Testing, (NDT), subsea engineering, conventional and atmospheric diving, Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) and ROV operations. Company capabilities are directed to underwater inspection, maintenance, and repair; deep ocean survey, search and recovery operations; submarine rescue; construction; subsea tieback; plug and abandonment; subsea mining; archaeological; and documentary projects.