A pilot from Vancouver Island is one of five crew members missing after a Cyclone helicopter crash off the coast of Greece Wednesday that claimed the life of at least one member of the Canadian Armed Forces. The aircraft was on a training mission and was returning to the Halifax-based frigate HMCS Fredriction.
Nanaimo-born Capt. Kevin Hagen is among the missing. He grew up in Ladysmith, Quadra Island and Victoria, his brother, Kyle, told the Times Colonist.
“Kevin was a perfect brother,” he said.
“Always there for my sister and I. He’s been a shining example of truth, duty and valour for us.
“We’ve been proud of him our whole lives. He’s been my closest friend, and I can’t describe how hard his loss has been for us.”
He said the military community and representatives have been compassionate and professional, adding: “I’m sorry to Kevin’s brothers and sisters in arms for this awful loss. We are grateful for their support. I miss him.”
Nanaimo Mayor Leonard Krog said the city is “proud of the contribution that young men and women have made to our Armed Forces over many decades.”
Krog described Capt. Hagen as “a fine example of commitment to country and community.”
There have been complications during the search because of a large debris field and the fact that the water where the helicopter crashed is 3,000 metres deep.