Navy sends second ship to aid Ethiopian flight salvage
NAPLES, Italy — The U.S. Navy is sending another ship to help in the salvage and recovery efforts of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 409 that crashed Monday off the coast of Lebanon, presumably killing all 90 people onboard. The plane was bound for Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
On Thursday, the Navy sent the USNS Grapple, a rescue and salvage ship that was conducting training with the Tunisian navy in Bizerte, Tunisia, when a request came from the Lebanon government and U.S. State Department for aid in the recovery efforts, a U.S. Navy 6th Fleet news release said.
As one of the Navy’s four rescue and salvage ships, the Grapple and its Navy divers have the ability to recover objects from the ocean floor, tow stranded vessels and provide firefighting assistance.
Officials on Thursday sought to recover the black boxes from the downed aircraft, which took off from Lebanon on Monday amid a fierce thunder and lightning storm.
A U.S. Navy vessel detected the black boxes at about 4,264 feet under the sea, according to The Associated Press.
On Monday, the Navy sent the guided-missile destroyer USS Ramage to the crash site.