Search for Army helicopter crew expands beyond Niihau; still no sign of aviators
October 17, 2017 | 82° | Check Traffic

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Search for Army helicopter crew expands beyond Niihau; still no sign of aviators

  • COURTESY U.S. COAST GUARD

    An HC-130 aircrew scans the water off Oahu on Friday for any sign of five missing aviators from a downed Army UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter. None of the aviators has been found by this morning.

Responders asked Niihau residents to search along the shoreline for any sign of the five aviators who went missing Tuesday after an Army helicopter went down off Kaena Point, the Coast Guard said today.

After searching overnight, responders entered their fifth day of searching today for the aviators who were in a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter that crashed during a night training mission. None of the crew members has been found.

The search area has continually expanded because of currents and swells in the area and now extends southwest beyond Niihau.

The Coast Guard said airplane crews and the cutter Galveston Island were searching the leading edge of the search zone southwest of Niihau while the helicopters and cutter Walnut were concentrating on an area 35 miles offshore of Kaena Point.

Shoreline crews were scanning the area along the north and west shores of Kaena Point and along the south shore of Kauai.

By this afternoon, searchers will have covered more than 90,000 square miles in 113 sorties, the Coast Guard said. Searchers have set up a command center at Haleiwa Boat Harbor.

A safety zone restricting access to authorized vessels or people remained in effect today. The safety zone extends out in a five nautical mile radius from a point about two miles northwest of Kaena Point.

The Coast Guard asked those who see or encounter debris to leave it alone and report it to responders by calling the 25th Combat Infantry Brigade staff duty officer at 808-656-1080.

Besides those assets already mentioned, other assets being used in today’s search were: an HC-130 Hercules airplane, an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter, a Navy P-3 Orion aircraft, a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter, and two 45-foot Response Boat-Mediums.

In addition, the Honolulu Ocean Safety and Lifeguard Services, Honolulu Fire Department, Kauai Fire Department, Army, and Coast Guard were searching closer to shore. A crew from the state Department of Land and Natural Resources was also assisting.

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