The military helicopter crashed into the bow of a navy oceanographic research vessel that was in front of Playa Valdez port off Margarita Island, said Rafael Lugo, who leads a civilian marine rescue organization.
There was no immediate comment from the military. Venezuela's military has suffered several other recent helicopter crashes.
Last month, a National Guard helicopter crashed during a counter-drug mission near the Colombian border, killing all 10 soldiers on board. In May 2009, a military helicopter patrolling near the Colombian border crashed, killing 16 soldiers and a civilian. In June 2008, an army helicopter crashed while landing at a Caracas military base, injuring two crew members but leaving passengers unhurt.