Two Marine heavy-life transport helicopters collided in midair off the coast of Oahu with 12 people on board just before 5:00 a.m. EST on Friday. The aircraft are still missing. The U.S. Coast Guard is in the process of search and rescue operations, complicated by a high surf advisory and 10-foot waves.
According to Sara Mooers, Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer, a debris field has been spotted near the town of Haleiwa, 2-1/2 miles off the coast of Oahu. Although an empty life raft has been spotted, as of 8:30 a.m. EST there has been no sign of survivors.
Witnesses in the area reportedly heard a loud boom over the water and saw a flare of light.
The helicopters were Sikorsky CH-53 Sea Stallions. They are from the Marine Corps Base Hawaii’s 1st Marine Aircraft Wing. Each aircraft had six people on board. There is no word as yet as to what caused the collision.
This story is still developing.