Coast Guard suspends search for 2 people from downed helicopter off Molokai

A Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point MH-65 Dolphin helicopter

Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point MH-65 Dolphin helicopter File photo

HONOLULU — The Coast Guard has suspended the active search for two missing men whose helicopter went down off the coast of Molokai, Monday evening.

Jeremy Dossetter, 27, and Oliver Kirsch, 25, remain missing.

“Making the decision to suspend a search and rescue case is incredibly difficult and is done only when we have exhausted all possible search efforts,” said Lt. Christopher Sena, a command duty officer at the Coast Guard Joint Rescue Coordination Command Center in Honolulu. “We extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends of the young men. We want to extend our appreciation to the Navy, Maui County Fire Department, Honolulu Fire Department and Mauna Loa Helicopter Pilot School for all of their efforts in assisting with the search.”

Responders conducted a total of 53 separate searches covering approximately 19,300 square miles.

Involved in the search were:

  • HC-130 Hercules airplane and MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrews from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point.
  • U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Ahi (WPB 87364), an 87-foot patrol boat homeported in Honolulu.
  • U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Galveston Island (WPB 1349), a 110-foot patrol boat homeported in Honolulu.
  • MH-60R Seahawk helicopter aircrew from Navy Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 37.
  • Air 1 helicopters and ground crews from Maui County and Honolulu Fire Department.
  • Civilian helicopter aircrews from Mauna Loa Helicopter Pilot School.

Watchstanders at the Coast Guard Joint Response Coordination Center received a call from the Honolulu International Airport control tower at 7:26 p.m. Monday, reporting they had lost communications with a Robinson R44 helicopter with two people aboard.

The helicopter was reported to have left Honolulu Monday on a day trip to Molokai and was on its way back when the incident occurred.

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