Coast Guard recovers three, searches for two following helicopter crash

HOUSTON – The Coast Guard has recovered three crewmembers and continues to search for two more after a helicopter crashed approximately 2-miles south, off the coast of Sabine Pass, Texas, Thursday, Dec. 11, 2008. The three recovered crewmembers were pronounced deceased by a Jefferson County official.

A watchstander at the Coast Guard’s Eighth District operations center in New Orleans received a call at 9:47 a.m. from the helicopter leasing company Rotorcraft, reporting that one of its helicopters failed to report in at its scheduled time.

The Coast Guard launched an MH-65 rescue helicopter crew from Air Station Houston, a boat crew from Station Sabine and the Cutter Heron to begin the search. The Heron will remain on-scene throughout the night to continue the search, and an Air Station Houston MH-65 rescue helicopter crew will conduct a first light search Friday. Others assisting in the search included four off-shore crew boats and one helicopter from Rotorcraft.

The helicopter was originally bound for an unmanned platform 18-miles off-shore.

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