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Search Expanded for Missing Black Hawk Crew

August 20, 2017, 8:11 AM HST
* Updated August 20, 4:08 PM
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UPDATE: Aug. 20, 12 p.m.

Responders searched throughout the night Saturday and are continuing the search Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017, for the five Army aviators who went missing Tuesday night approximately two miles west of Ka‘ena Point.

Search and rescue planners have also reached out to the residents of Ni’ihau Island to conduct searches along their shoreline.

The search area extends southwest beyond Ni’ihau Island having continued to expand since the incident due to the currents and swells in the area. Fixed-wing aviation assets and the Galveston Island are searching the leading edge southwest of Ni’ihau while the helicopters and Walnut are continuing to concentrate efforts roughly 35 miles offshore of Ka’ena Point. Shoreline crews are active along the north and west shores of Ka’ena Point to and along the southern shore of Kauai.

By Sunday afternoon, responders will have conducted 113 separate sorties/searches. At that time the effort will cover more than 90,000 square statute miles.

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None of the aviators have been located yet. No further debris has been recovered. Personnel continue to coordinate efforts at the joint forward operating base at Hale’iwa Boat Harbor.

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The safety zone remains in effect extending out in a 5.75 statute mile radius from the point 21-27.919N 158-21.547W, geographically located roughly two miles northwest of Ka’ena Point, established by the Coast Guard Captain of the Port Wednesday. No vessels or persons are authorized to enter this zone without prior approval from the Captain of the Port. A broadcast notice to mariners has been issued. Ka’ena State Park trails remain closed at this time.

Those who see or encounter debris consistent with this type of aircraft at sea or on any of the island shores are asked to report it to responders by calling the 25th Combat Infantry Brigade Staff Duty Officer at 808-656-1080 and not to try to collect it themselves.

The search began late Tuesday following notification to the Coast Guard from personnel at Wheeler Army Airfield stating they lost communication with one of their UH-60 Black Hawk aircrews. The missing aircrew was reportedly engaged in night time training operations between Ka’ena Point and Dillingham Airfield.

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Searching are:

  • Coast Guard Cutter Walnut (WLB 205) and crew from Honolulu
  • Coast Guard Cutter Galveston Island (WPB 1349) and crew from Honolulu
  • Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules airplane crew from Air Station Barbers Point
  • Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Air Station Barbers Point
  • Navy P-3 Orion aircrew from Marine Corps Base Hawaii at Kaneohe Bay
  • UH-60 Black Hawk from Wheeler Army Airfield
  • Coast Guard 45-foot Response Boat-Medium Station Honolulu
  • Coast Guard 45-foot Response Boat-Medium Station Kauai
  • Shore patrols and a helicopter crew from Honolulu Fire Department
  • Shore patrols from Kauai Fire Department
  • Crews from Ocean Safety and Lifeguard Services
  • Crew from the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources
  • Shore patrols from the Army and Coast Guard Sector Honolulu

 

Weather on scene is reportedly 17 mph winds, seas 2 to 4 feet and isolated showers. Visibility continues to be good. A slight chance of thunderstorms exists for Sunday night.

PREVIOUS POST: Aug. 20, 2017, 8:11 a.m.

After five days of searching, there’s still no sign of the five missing aviators who were aboard an Army UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter that went down over waters about two miles west of Kaʻena Point on Oʻahu on Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017.

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Responders expanded their search on Saturday, Aug. 19, to include an area as much as 160 miles offshore of Kaʻena Point. By Saturday afternoon, responders had conducted 75 separate sorties/searches covering 61,135 square miles.

The Coast Guard used fixed-wing aviation assets and the Galveston Island to search the leading edge southwest of Kauaʻi, while helicopters and other crews concentrated efforts roughly 35 miles offshore of Ka‘ena Point. Shoreline crews remained active along the north shore of Ka‘ena Point to Dillingham and along the southern shore of Kauaʻi.

On Saturday, debris continued to be spotted and recovered along the shore off Ka‘ena Point. No debris was recovered at sea on Friday. As of Saturday evening, personnel continued to coordinate efforts at the joint forward operating base at Hale‘iwa Boat Harbor.

The safety zone remains in effect extending out in a 5.75-statute-mile radius from the point located roughly two miles northwest of Ka‘ena Point.

The search began late Tuesday following notification to the Coast Guard from personnel at Wheeler Army Airfield stating they lost communication with one of their UH-60 Black Hawk aircrews. The missing aircrew was reportedly engaged in night time training operations between Ka’ena Point and Dillingham Airfield.

The latest search effort involved the following assets:

  • Coast Guard Cutter Walnut (WLB 205) and crew from Honolulu
  • Coast Guard Cutter Galveston Island (WPB 1349) and crew from Honolulu
  • Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules airplane crew from Air Station Barbers Point
  • Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Air Station Barbers Point
  • Navy P-3 Orion aircrew from Marine Corps Base Hawaii at Kaneʻohe Bay
  • Navy MH-60 Seahawk helicopter crew from Marine Corps Base Hawaiʻi at Kaneʻohe Bay
  • Coast Guard 45-foot Response Boat-Medium Station Honolulu
  • Coast Guard 45-foot Response Boat-Medium Station Kauaʻi
  • Two UH-60 Black Hawk from Wheeler Army Airfield
  • CH-47 Chinook helicopter aircrew from Wheeler Army Airfield
  • Shore patrols and a helicopter crew from Honolulu Fire Department
  • Shore patrols from Kauaʻi Fire Department
  • Crews from Ocean Safety and Lifeguard Services
  • Crew from the Hawaiʻi Department of Land and Natural Resources
  • Shore patrols from the Army and Coast Guard Sector Honolulu

Coast Guard led search efforts for Aug. 18, 2017, encompassing assets from the Coast Guard, Army, Navy, Honolulu Fire Department, Department of Natural Resources and Ocean Safety and Lifeguard Services are laid out over a map of the area off O‘ahu, Hawai‘i. Coast Guard search and rescue planners uses this and other programs to plan out and model efforts for responses. (U.S. Coast Guard graphic/Released)

An aircrewman aboard a Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules airplane from Air Station Barbers Point scans the waters off O‘ahu Aug. 18, 2017, for any sign of five missing aviators from an Army UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter. The aviators went missing the night of Aug. 15 during a training evolution. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Air Station Barbers Point/Released)

An aircrewman aboard a Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Air Station Barbers Point scans the waters off O‘ahu Aug. 18, 2017, for any sign of five missing aviators from an Army UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter. The aviators went missing the night of Aug. 15 during a training evolution. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Air Station Barbers Point/Released)

The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Walnut (WLB 205) scan the waters off O‘ahu Aug. 18, 2017, for any sign of five missing aviators from an Army UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter. The aviators went missing the night of Aug. 15 during a training evolution. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Air Station Barbers Point/Released)

An aircrew aboard a Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Air Station Barbers Point scans the waters off O‘ahu Aug. 18, 2017, for any sign of five missing aviators from an Army UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter. The aviators went missing the night of Aug. 15 during a training evolution. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Air Station Barbers Point/Released)

A Coast Guard Station Honolulu 45-foot Response Boat-Medium scans the waters off Oahu Aug. 18, 2017, for any sign of five missing aviators from an Army UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter. The aviators went missing the night of Aug. 15 during a training evolution. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Air Station Barbers Point/Released)

The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Galveston Island (WPB 1349) scan the waters off O‘ahu Aug. 18, 2017, for any sign of five missing aviators from an Army UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter. The aviators went missing the night of Aug. 15 during a training evolution. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Air Station Barbers Point/Released)

An air crewman aboard a Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules airplane from Air Station Barbers Point scans the waters off O‘ahu Aug. 18, 2017, for any sign of five missing aviators from an Army UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter. The aviators went missing the night of Aug. 15 during a training evolution. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Air Station Barbers Point/Released)

An aircrew aboard a Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules airplane from Air Station Barbers Point scans the waters off Oahu Aug. 18, 2017, for any sign of five missing aviators from an Army UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter. The aviators went missing the night of Aug. 15 during a training evolution. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Air Station Barbers Point/Released)

An aircrewman aboard a Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Air Station Barbers Point scans the waters off O‘ahu Aug. 18, 2017, for any sign of five missing aviators from an Army UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter. The aviators went missing the night of Aug. 15 during a training evolution. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Air Station Barbers Point/Released)

An aircrew aboard a Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules airplane from Air Station Barbers Point scans the waters off O‘ahu Aug. 18, 2017, for any sign of five missing aviators from an Army UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter. The aviators went missing the night of Aug. 15 during a training evolution. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Air Station Barbers Point/Released)

Ground crews are seen set up on Ka‘ena Point, Hawaii, Aug. 18, 2017. A joint response has been mounted to search for five missing Army aviators from a downed UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter off O‘ahu. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Air Station Barbers Point/Released)

An MH-65 helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point passes Ka‘ena Point Aug. 18, 2017, during their on going search for five missing Army aviators in the area. Crews from the Coast Guard, Army, Navy, Honolulu Fire Department, Kauai Fire Department, Department of Land and Natural Resources and Ocean Safety and Lifeguard Services are engaged in the search. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Air Station Barbers Point/Released)

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