Coast Guard closes case after overdue helicopter located in Molokai

65 Barbers PointHONOLULU — The Coast Guard closed the active search for a helicopter reportedly overdue with two persons aboard, Wednesday afternoon.

Maui Fire Department confirmed they found the crash site of the helicopter in dense jungle a half mile north of the private helipad it was destined for in Molokai. Neither the pilot or passenger survived.

“Our deepest condolences go out to the family of the pilot and his passenger,” said Lt. Vince Zieser, command duty officer of Coast Guard Joint Rescue Coordination Center Honolulu. “We appreciate the support of the Maui Fire Department and their actions that led to the discovery of the wreckage and resolution of this tragic case.”

The Maui Fire Department and Police Department searched the area of the wreckage on foot after it was spotted from their Air 1 helicopter during the joint search.

Coast Guard on-scene assets conducted a total of xx searches covering a total area of more than 716 square miles south of Molokai throughout the day.

Involved in the search were:

  • HC-130 Hercules airplane and MH-65 helicopter crews from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point
  • Coast Guard Cutter Kittiwake homeported in Honolulu, on operations off Maui
  • Air 1 helicopter crew from Maui Fire Department

The helicopter was reported overdue by the owner’s employee at 6:55 a.m. Wednesday. The employee called 911 and dispatch notified Coast Guard Sector Honolulu command center personnel who in turn relayed the call to the watchstanders at Coast Guard Joint Rescue Coordination Center Honolulu. The black, privately owned, helicopter reportedly departed Honolulu Tuesday evening en route to Molokai.

Weather on scene during the search was reportedly 21 to 23 mph winds, partly sunny with showers.

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