NORFOLK, Va.—U.S. Fleet Forces Command said divers recovered the body of 39-year-old Lt. Sean Christopher Snyder, of Santee, Calif., on Tuesday, a day after locating the helicopter's cockpit.
Five crew members were aboard the MH-53E Sea Dragon when it crashed Jan. 8 in the Atlantic Ocean about 18 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach. The Navy says the helicopter was taking part in routine mine countermeasure training when it crashed.
The other four crew members were pulled from the water, but two died later at a civilian hospital. The other two have been released from the hospital.
A memorial service for the three crew members killed in the crash has been planned for Friday at Naval Station Norfolk, where the helicopter's squadron is based.
"The family is truly thankful to the men and women of the United States Navy," Snyder's family said in a statement released by the 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."
The other sailors who died in the crash were Petty Officer 3rd Class Brian Collins, 25, a pilot from Truckee, Calif., and Lt. Wesley Van Dorn, 29, a crewman from Greensboro, N.C. The Navy has not released the name of the two crew members who were injured.
Sean Christopher Snyder was born Nov. 15, 1974, in Santee to Craig and Pamela (Parker) Snyder. He is also survived by his wife, children, family, and friends.
Sean Christopher Snyder
Virginia Beach - On January 8, 2014 Lt. Sean C. Snyder, a decorated pilot of the U.S. Navy died a hero.
Lt. Snyder leaves a living legacy of faith, courage, and honor through his life in Christ. His true love for his wife and Children. His love for family and friends and faithful service to his country.
Sean is survived by his wife Amy, sons Sean II., Brady, Ethan, and daughter Makayla. Also survived by Pam Gandy(Mother), David Gandy(Step-Father), Craig Snyder(Father), Sandra Snyder(Step-Mother), Gary Edwards(Step-Father), Kaeli(Sister), Shane(Step-Brother), Robert(Step-Brother), Russell Snyder(Grandfather), and Betty Snyder(Grandmother).
A memorial service will be held at Glad Tidings Church in Norfolk, Virginia on Wednesday, January 22,2014. Burial service immediately following at Albert G. Horton, Jr. Memorial Veterans Cemetery, 5310 Milners Road Suffolk, Virginia.
Published in The Virginian Pilot on Jan. 20, 2014
Craig Emery Snyder
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