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

CAMERON, Louisiana — The Coast Guard suspended the search Sunday evening, 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.

Approximately 1,860 square miles have been searched over two days, including 14 aircraft searches and 11 surface searches.

Air assets involved in the 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 and an HC-130 Hercules airplane from Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater. Crews aboard surface assets from the Coast Guard Cutters Beluga, Harry Claiborne, Razorbill, and Manowar also covered the search area. Coast Guard Auxiliary crews helped to ferry aircrews from Air Station Houston to the airport in Lake Charles, Louisiana to support more on scene search time.

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 and Manowar are 87-foot patrol boats and the Harry Claiborne is a 175-foot coastal buoy tender; all three are home-ported in Galveston, Texas. The Razorbill is an 87-foot patrol boat home-ported in Gulfport, Mississippi.

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