Coast Guard suspends its search for missing aircrew off Maui
The Coast Guard has suspended the active search off East Maui Sunday for a missing medical response aircraft and the three crew members aboard.
“Working with US Coast Guard assets, the Hawaiʻi Wing Civil Air Patrol and the Coast Guard Auxiliary, our team conducted a total of 28 searches, over the course of 67 hours, covering over 4,732 square nautical miles,” said Jennifer Conklin, the Coast Guard District 14 Search and Rescue Program Manager in an agency press release update. “While it is not an easy decision, we have suspended the active search pending any further new information.”
At approximately 9:10 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 15, watchstanders at Joint Rescue Coordination Center Honolulu received a report from the Honolulu Control Facility of a downed Hawaiʻi Life Flight aircraft 16-miles south of Hāna with three crewmembers on board.
Global Medical Response issued a statement confirming the suspended Coast Guard search. “Our focus remains on supporting the families of our missing crew as well as our Hawaiʻi Life Flight crew. Please keep the Hawaiʻi Life Flight teams in your thoughts.”
Multiple aircrews from Air Station Barbers Point were deployed immediately after the notification and the Coast Guard Cutter William Hart was diverted to join in the search.
USCG assets involved in the search included:
- Multiple Air Station Barbers Point MH-65 Dolphin Helicopter aircrews
- Multiple Air Station Barbers Point C-130J Hercules aircrews
- Multiple Coast Guard Station Maui 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crews
- The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter William Hart (WPC 1134)
- Coast Guard Auxiliary aircrews
- Aircrews from the Hawaii Wing Civil Air Patrol