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Haleiwa park to remain closed during salvage operations

  • KRYSTLE MARCELLUS / KMARCELLUS@STARADVERTISER.COM

    Personnel continued their search for 12 U.S. Marines and helicopter debris at Haleiwa Alii Beach Park on Sunday.

Coast Guard suspends search for 12 missing Marines

Haleiwa Alii Beach Park remains closed today as Marines and city firefighters begin recovery operations to salvage debris from two large cargo Super Stallion helicopters that crashed offshore last week after colliding, likely killing 12 crew members.

City officials asked the public to stay clear of the area.

The showers and restrooms on Waialua end of the park are still open for usage.

All the wreckage and debris recovered will be moved to the Marine Corps Base Hawaii for analysis as part of the military accident investigation.

A debris field was found on the seafloor in 325 feet of water two miles off Haleiwa, the area of the two helicopters’ last reported location.

The park since Friday was the command center for a joint rescue effort conducted by the Coast Guard, Marines, Navy, Hawaii National Guard, firefighters, police and lifeguards.

The Coast Guard suspended its part of the search efforts Tuesday after searching more than 53,600 square miles of ocean and shoreline between Haleiwa and Kahuku over five days.

None of the 12 Marine aviators were found.

Besides crash debris, searchers recovered four life rafts carried by the two CH-3 Super Stallion helicopters, which each had a crew of six.

A memorial service for the Kaneohe Marines is planned for Friday.

The helicopters and aircrew, who were on a routine night training mission, belonged to Marine Aircraft Group 24, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing.

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