Two Marine Corps helos collide off Oahu's North Shore
12 Crewmen Missing, High Surf Complicates Search And Rescue
Two US Marine Corps CH-53 Sea Stallion helicopters, like the one shown above, collided off Oahu's North Shore around 5:00 A.M. Eastern time. The Corps confirmed that the two choppers are from Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 463, Marine Aircraft Group 24, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing at Marine Corps Base Hawaii.
"The Coast Guard is conducting search and rescue operations," USMC spokesman Maj. Christian Devine told Marine Corps Times. "We will provide more details as they become available."
Foxtrot Alpha reports that Coast Guard search and rescue teams came across a fiery debris field and an empty life raft while searching for the 12 crewman aboard the two helos. Renowned as a surfing mecca, the North Shore's high surf has complicated the SAR effort, though.
Marine Corps Times is reporting that rescuers are combatting 10-foot waves, and that the waters in the search area are only going to get choppier as the day goes on. As of 8:30 this morning, there were no signs of survivors. We'll have more as it becomes available.
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