Dubuque man breaks both legs in Okinawa helicopter crash - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Dubuque man breaks both legs in Okinawa helicopter crash

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Courtesy: NBC News Courtesy: NBC News
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DUBUQUE (KWWL) -

An eastern Iowa man was one of seven people injured in a military helicopter "hard-deck landing" off the coast of Japan Wednesday.

33-year-old Tyler Borgwardt of Dubuque, a senior chief petty officer and master EOD tech with the U.S. Navy, was one of the seven injured in the hard landing, according to his parents, Terry and Julie Borgwardt.

"His wife Caroline called us at about 7 a.m. Wednesday morning August 12th and said Tyler's been in a helicopter accident and she said right away, he's gonna be okay," said Tyler's mother Julie.

The Borgwardts say Tyler suffered two broken legs and a broken foot in the crash, which was a hard landing on an aircraft carrier. They say his injuries were among the worst in the landing.

"They were doing the training mission, supposedly they were supposed to land on the ship, but there was mechanical difficulties with the helicopter and they clipped the ship and the pilot landed on the ship instead of the ocean," said Julie.

Tyler is expected to be OK. He had one surgery in Japan and has been flown to Hawaii to have another surgery later on Friday, according to the Borgwardts.

"We just hope for the best and take it day by day, and I'm sure Tyler will work hard getting back on his feet, getting back to his job because he loves it," said Julie.

The cause of the crash is still under investigation.

The Borgwardts said the situation could have been worse if the ship went into the ocean.

Tyler has a GoFundMe page up, and his parents say the money raised will be used to help him if needed, or donated to the Wounded Warrior Project for military families in need. 

GoFundMe accounts cannot be independently verified and vetted by KWWL; please research the recipient of the funds before donating.

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ORIGINAL STORY:

A U.S. military helicopter crash landed off the Japanese island of Okinawa on Wednesday, leaving seven people injured.

The UH-60 Black Hawk performed a "hard-deck landing" on the USNS Red Cloud, the U.S. Pacific Command said. Aerial footage broadcast by NHK showed the chopper with part of its tail broken off.

Of the 17 people on board, seven were injured and transported to a U.S. naval hospital on Okinawa, according to the U.S. Pacific Command. It previously said six people were injured but then revised the figure.

The incident happened at 1:46 p.m. about 20 miles east of Okinawa. The helicopter was conducting a training mission at the time and the cause was under investigation, military officials said.

Japanese patrol boats and helicopters were initially sent to search for the helicopter and its crew.

However, Okinawa coast guard spokesman Yosuke Watanuki said it later received a call from U.S. Camp Foster military police, calling off the request for assistance.

Okinawa, an island more than 900 miles southwest of Tokyo, is home to the bulk of U.S. military forces stationed in Japan.

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