Coast Guard continues search for missing diver south of Cameron, Louisiana

Coast Guard Cutter Beluga file photo

Coast Guard Cutter Beluga file photo

CAMERON, Louisiana — The Coast Guard continued searching Saturday for a diver that went missing Friday afternoon approximately 35 miles south of Cameron.

Missing is Chet Cassell, a male in his mid 40s from Alexandria. He was last seen wearing a black wetsuit with orange fins.

Approximately 1,600 square miles have been searched over a period of 26 hours.

Coast Guard air assets involved in Saturday’s search included a Coast Guard Air Station Houston MH-65 Dolphin helicopter and a Coast Guard Air Station Corpus Christi Dolphin helicopter and HC-144 Ocean Sentry airplane, along with a Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans Dolphin helicopter. Crews aboard surface assets from the Coast Guard Cutter Beluga and Coast Guard Cutter Harry Claiborne also covered the search area.

Friday at 4 p.m., a Coast Guard Aviation Training Center Mobile, Alabama, HC-144 Ocean Sentry airplane crew overheard a mayday call on VHF marine band channel 16, reporting a diver that had gone spearfishing off a boat with a friend and did not resurface.

The Beluga is an 87-foot patrol boat and the Harry Claiborne is a 175-foot coastal buoy tender; both are homeported in Galveston, Texas.

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