A NATO helicopter crashed in the Ionian Sea, west of the Greek mainland, on Wednesday evening.
According to Greek Defense Ministry sources, the CH-148 Cyclone helicopter had taken off from a Canadian frigate and crashed in the sea some 20 nautical miles outside Greek territorial waters west of Kefalonia island.
There were between three and six passengers in the helicopter who are still missing.
The Canadian armed forces issued a statement confirming a search was underway after contact was lost with the helicopter.
“There is a developing situation regarding one of our CH-148 Cyclone helicopters, deployed onboard HMCS FREDERICTON, which is currently contributing to Op REASSURANCE,” the Canadian Armed Forces said in their statement regarding the incident.
“Contact was lost with the aircraft as it was participating in Allied exercises off the coast of Greece. Search and rescue efforts are currently underway,” it added.
According to reports, the aircraft was participating in an Allied naval exercise of the Standing NATO Maritime Group 2, which is NATO’s standing maritime immediate reaction force.
Greek authorities said they have not been asked to help as the area is in Italy’s maritime jurisdiction, far off the Greek mainland and outside the area where the country has responsibility for search and rescue operations.