Three dead in Coast Guard helicopter crash off Oahu - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Three dead in Coast Guard helicopter crash off Oahu

Photo of an HH-65C Dolphin helicopter similar to the copter that crashed Thursday night Photo of an HH-65C Dolphin helicopter similar to the copter that crashed Thursday night

HONOLULU (KHNL) - A US Coast Guard helicopter crashed in waters five miles south of Honolulu International Airport Thursday night, killing three crewmembers. A nighttime search and rescue mission continues early Friday morning for a fourth person who has yet to be accounted for.

The crash occurred around 8:15 PM.  A total of four people were on board the helicopter.

The Coast Guard is continuing a massive search and rescue operation. The Honolulu Fire Department is assisting in the search with helicopter and boat teams.

"Our thoughts are with the families and loved ones of our helicopter crewmembers," said Rear Adm. Manson K. Brown, the Fourteenth Coast Guard District Commander. "It's a terrible circumstance and we are bringing as many assets to bear to find our missing shipmate."

"Right now, our focus is our people," Brown said.

According to the Coast Guard, the HH-65 Dolphin helicopter's crew was conducting drills with a motor lifeboat from Station Honolulu when it went down. The Coast Guard was notified by the FAA and immediately launched a C-130 search plane from Air Station Barbers Point.

A crew on board an inbound Air Force C-17 to Honolulu International saw the Coast Guard helicopter go down and circled the site until a rescue boat from the Honolulu Fire Department could get on scene. Initial reports indicate that the helicopter was floating.

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