Crews from Flamborough and Bridlington rushed to the scene shortly after 1:45pm and spent four hours helping other emergency services.
The volunteer crews spent some time searching an area in Selwicks Bay and later stood by at sea to support coastguard, fire and rescue and other colleagues in the rescue operation.
Flamborough RNLI crew member Cole Ibbotson said: ‘We could see the wreckage of the helicopter at the bottom of the cliff and could see where it had hit.
“The swell was too big for the lifeboat to get in close so we were tasked to undertake a search pattern for wreckage with Bridlington all-weather lifeboat. We recovered a number of items which we have passed on to the police.
“We are all devastated that this service didn’t have a positive outcome and that we couldn’t help the people on board the helicopter. Our thoughts and sympathy are very much with their family and friends.”
Two men died in the accident. It is believed the helicopter was travelling from Scotland to Humberside Airport.