The aircraft was carrying four people when it went down on Wednesday afternoon in the southwest of the island, at Agios Minas, near Plaka beach.
Of these, two – the Romanian pilot and a Greek liaison officer – were found unconscious, and later confirmed to have died, while two Moldovan nationals were successfully rescued from the crash.
The search and rescue operation was conducted by the Greek Coast Guard, who deployed several boats and two helicopters, alongside a number of volunteers with private fishing boats.
The aircraft has been identified as an Mi-8 helicopter leased by the Greek government from Ukraine for use in firefighting operations.
The aircraft had been deployed to assist firefighters on the island, which lies in the eastern Aegean off the Turkish Coast – alongside two other helicopters and five fixed-wing aircraft, according to reports by the Greek Fire Service.
Greece has experienced severe wildfires in recent years, with the government committing to spending €1.7 billion on the modernization of its aerial firefighting capabilities in 2021. Greece has also received support from a number of foreign governments to tackle the growing issue.