Maui News

Search Continues for Missing Aviators Aboard Downed Black Hawk

August 16, 2017, 6:07 PM HST
* Updated August 16, 6:10 PM
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The search continues for five missing aviators from a downed Army UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter approximately two miles west of Kaʻena Point, Oʻahu.

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As of 4 p.m. on Wednesday, none of the aviators had been located. Authorities say a debris field was located at around 11:28 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017 near Kaʻena Point, and some debris had been recovered.

A joint forward incident command post has been established at Haleʻiwa Boat Harbor to coordinate search and rescue efforts.

Coast Guard officials say debris from the crash should be considered hazardous material and should only be recovered by teams with the proper training and personal protective equipment. Authorities say the debris poses potential risk and could cause serious bodily harm due to sharp edges.

Watchstanders at the Coast Guard Joint Rescue Command Center in Honolulu received a call at 10:08 p.m. Tuesday from personnel at Wheeler Army Airfield stating they lost communications with one of their UH-60 Black Hawk aircrews. Watchstanders then issued an urgent marine information broadcast and directed the launch of response assets.

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The two Black Hawk aircrews were reportedly conducting training between Kaʻena Point and Dillingham Airfield at the time communications were lost.

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Weather on scene is currently 17 mph winds with 6 foot seas.

Assets responding to the incident include the following:

  • HC-130 Hercules airplane aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point
  • MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point
  • Coast Guard Cutter Ahi (WPB 87364) and crew, an 87-foot patrol boat homeported in Honolulu
  • 45-foot Response Boat-Medium boatcrew from Coast Guard Station Honolulu
  • CH-47 Chinook helicopter aircrew from Wheeler Army Airfield
  • MH-60R Seahawk helicopter aircrew from Navy Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 37
  • P-3 Orion aircrew from Marine Corps Air Station Kaneʻohe Bay
  • Shore patrols and a helicopter crew from Honolulu Fire Department
  • Crews from Ocean Safety and Lifeguard Services and a crew from the Hawaiʻi Department of Land of Natural Resources

A Coast Guard Cutter Walnut (WLB 205), a 225-foot buoy tender homeported in Honolulu is also en route with crew.

PC: (U.S. Coast Guard photos/Released)

A 45-foot Response Boat-Medium boatcrew from Coast Guard Station Honolulu are shown conducting a search for five crewmembers aboard a downed Army UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter approximately two miles west of Ka’ena Point, Oahu, Aug. 16, 2017. Two Black Hawk aircrews were reportedly conducting night training Aug. 15, between Ka’ena Point and Dillingham Airfield when communications were lost with one of the helicopters. (U.S. Coast Guard photo/Released)

The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Ahi (WPB 87364), an 87-foot patrol boat homeported in Honolulu, are shown conducting a search for five crewmembers aboard a downed Army UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter approximately two miles west of Ka’ena Point, Oahu, Aug. 16, 2017. Two Black Hawk aircrews were reportedly conducting night training Aug. 15, between Ka’ena Point and Dillingham Airfield when communications were lost with one of the helicopters. (U.S. Coast Guard photo/Released)

A UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter aircrew from Wheeler Army Airfield and a fireboat crew from the Honolulu Fire Department are shown conducting a search for five crewmembers aboard a downed Army UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter approximately two miles west of Ka’ena Point, Oahu, Aug. 16, 2017. Two Black Hawk aircrews were reportedly conducting night training Aug. 15, between Ka’ena Point and Dillingham Airfield when communications were lost with one of the helicopters. (U.S. Coast Guard photo/Released)

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