Search for missing U.S. Coast Guard aviator to continues

HONOLULU — Search crews from U.S. Coast Guard units in Hawaii continued the search for one of their own overnight Friday, Sept. 5. A Coast Guard HH-65 Dolphin rescue helicopter crashed Thursday night five miles south of Honolulu International Airport.

Coast Guard search crews aboard the 87-foot patrol boat Kittiwake, aboard two HH-65s from Air Station Barbers Point and aboard two 25-foot small boats from the Marine Safety and Security Team Honolulu  continue to search an area roughly 10 by 13 miles in the middle of Mamala Bay on the South Shore of Oahu.

There have been no other significant signs of debris since the fuselage of the helicopter was brought to shore at the Coast Guard’s Sand Island base at approximately 1 p.m. today.

Three air crew members perished in the crash and the search for the missing fourth crew member will continue as long as there is a reasonable chance of survival, said Rear Adm. Manson K. Brown, the commander of the Fourteenth Coast Guard District headquartered in Honolulu.

“We are bringing as many assets to bear as we can,” said Brown, who commands 29 operational units in the Pacific, including the 300-member Air Station Barbers Point at Ewa Beach on Oahu.

“The entire Coast Guard grieves with the families of our lost air crew members and we will continue the search for our missing Coast Guardsman.”

The crew of the 87-foot patrol boat Ahi will relieve the Kittiwake’s crew Saturday morning in the search area and the 378-foot Cutter Rush has been recalled from a law enforcement trip to American Samoa to aid in the search as well. Embarked aboard the Rush is an HH-65 Dolphin and air crew, which will join the search Saturday.

Also joining the search Saturday morning will be units and members of the Honolulu Fire Department, which helped recover the three deceased air crew members Thursday.

“We appreciate the assistance of the Honolulu Fire Department, the state DLNR, the U.S. Navy and Air Force, Hawaii Air National Guard and Honolulu Police Department for their help so far,” said Brown.

The weather on scene Friday night was reported to be “calm” by searchers with winds out of the east at 10 knots and seas of four to six feet.

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