WASHINGTON, D.C. (KHNL) - Following Thursday's deadly U.S. Coast Guard helicopter crash, several public officials issued statements on the loss of the three aircrew members.
Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff released this statement:
"Yesterday evening the Coast Guard lost three brave men assigned to Air Station Barbers Point when their HH-65 helicopter crashed during a training flight south of Honolulu, Hawaii. Lieutenant Commander Andrew Wischmeier, Aviation Survival Technician First Class David Skimin and Aviation Maintenance Technician Second Class Joshua Nichols served their country with honor, and their loss is felt by the entire Department.
On behalf of all Department employees, I offer condolences to the families, friends and fellow shipmates of the fallen aircrew, particularly the wives and children of each. They are in our thoughts and prayers.
A fourth member of the crew remains missing. I am grateful to the men and women of the Coast Guard, Navy, Air Force, Hawaii Air National Guard, and local fire and police forces engaged in search and rescue efforts even now.
As our nation's guardians of the sea, the dedicated men and women of the Coast Guard work tirelessly everyday to protect and secure our waterways. I am deeply grateful for their valiant service."
Congresswoman Mazie Hirono released this statement:
"I am deeply saddened to learn of the three lives lost during last night's Coast Guard helicopter crash that took place during a regularly scheduled search and rescue drill.
"I express my sincere condolences to the families, friends and colleagues who have lost loved ones in this tragic and unfortunate event. I also offer my hope and prayers that the fourth crewmember will be found safely, and brought home. We are all extremely grateful to those brave men and women of the United States Coast Guard who serve so proudly and bravely to protect our state, and our country. Their sacrifice and service will not be forgotten."
Senator Daniel Inouye released this statement: