Coast Guard search continues into second day, finds nothing

John Titchen
John Titchen

By Paul Drewes - bio | email and Tai Hiranaka

HONOLULU (KHNL) -- Coast Guard rescuers are hard at work for a third night, searching for one of their own. One man is still missing after a Coast Guard chopper crashed on Thursday night, killing three of the four men on board.

A Coast Guard boat brings back more debris from the wreckage of Thursday night's chopper crash. The helicopter went down during a rescue training mission. John Titchen of the US Coast Guard in Hawaii said, "This is a tragic and trying time for the Coast Guard in Hawaii and nationwide. It's rare we lose a member of the Coast Guard and extremely rare to lose four in one accident."

Saturday, crews searched 2,500 square miles of ocean, from Diamond Head to Kalaeloa. Conditions were good. Titchen recaps, "Ideal. We have winds out of the east at 10- 15 knots and seas at 6 feet."

Titchen said the missing man was wearing survival gear and could still be alive. "We learn how to survive if the worst happens. As long as we have a chance to find him the search will go on tonight and into tomorrow."

They'll reassess the search effort after Sunday. Titchen said, "We're optimistic because we have ideal search conditions and an exact last known position and have brought as many assets to bear as we can."

The debris found Saturday will be brought to a hanger at Hickam Air Force Base for an investigation.

The Coast Guard says it'll keep searching for the missing man as long as there is a reasonable expectation of survival. City and state agencies are helping the rescue effort.