KANEOHE (HawaiiNewsNow) - One Marine is dead after a CH-53D Sea Stallion helicopter carrying four crew members crashed in Kaneohe Bay. The aircraft issued a mayday call shortly after it left Marine Corps Base Hawaii.
One crew member was removed from the helicopter, pronounced dead by the state medical examiner and later taken to Tripler Army Medical Center. The name of the deceased will be released 24 hours after next of kin notification.
The other three crew members were transported from Marine Corps Air Station Kaneohe Bay to Queens Medical Center. At last check, two were listed in critical condition and one in stable condition.
The aircraft made an emergency landing in shallow water on the Kaneohe Bay sandbar around 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, approximately two miles from the air station. The downed helicopter remains on its side in Kaneohe Bay and the salvage operation is being planned.
The emergency startled residents who live near the bay.
"One big boom like thunder, and then about 10, 15 minutes after that I noticed military helicopters was unusually circling around," said Kaneohe resident Glenn Pang.
"We're working with the Kaneohe Marine Base waterfront ops, working with US Coast Guard. Fed fire is on the base, and HFD, Coast Guard and waterfront ops are in the ocean with the patients," said Capt. Terry Seelig of the Honolulu Fire Department.
Containment booms have been placed around the wreckage as a precaution. The Coast Guard is enforcing a temporary safety zone extending 500 yards around the aircraft.
Rescue responders included the Marine Corps Base Hawaii Waterfront Operations, aircraft from the U.S. Coast Guard and Army and the Honolulu Fire Department as well as another CH53D from HMH363.
This incident is under investigation by the Marine Corps.