Coast Guard suspends search for 4 missing near Southwest Pass

Debris from helicopter crash 10 miles off Southwest Pass, Louisiana, Dec. 29, 2022. The Coast Guard suspended its search for four passengers aboard a downed helicopter. (U.S. Cost Guard photo)

Debris from helicopter crash 10 miles off Southwest Pass, Louisiana, Dec. 29, 2022.  (U.S. Cost Guard photo)

NEW ORLEANS — The Coast Guard suspended its search Thursday at approximately 6:15 p.m. for four passengers aboard a downed helicopter approximately 10 miles off Southwest Pass, Louisiana.

Coast Guard District Eight watchstanders received a call at approximately 8:40 a.m. from Rotorcraft Leasing Company personnel stating a company helicopter with four people aboard went down in the Gulf of Mexico while in the process of departing an oil platform.

Sector New Orleans watchstanders coordinated the launch of a Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter aircrew and a Coast Guard Station Venice 45-foot Response Boat-Medium boatcrew to assist in the search.

The crew searched approximately 180 square miles for 8 hours.

“It is always a difficult decision to suspend a search,” said Lt. Cmdr. Kevin Keefe, Coast Guard Sector New Orleans Search and Rescue Mission Coordinator. “Our deepest sympathies and condolences go out to the family and friends during this difficult time.”

Rescue crews involved in the search were:

  • Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter aircrew
  • Coast Guard Station Venice 45-foot Response Boat-Medium boatcrew

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