UPDATE: The Coast Guard suspended its search Thursday at approximately 6:15 p.m. for four passengers aboard a downed helicopter approximately 10 miles off Southwest Pass, Louisiana.
Coast Guard District Eight watchstanders received a call at approximately 8:40 a.m. from Rotorcraft Leasing Company personnel stating a company helicopter with four people aboard went down in the Gulf of Mexico while in the process of departing an oil platform.
Sector New Orleans watchstanders coordinated the launch of a Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter aircrew and a Coast Guard Station Venice 45-foot Response Boat-Medium boatcrew to assist in the search.
The crew searched approximately 180 square miles for 8 hours.
“It is always a difficult decision to suspend a search,” said Lt. Cmdr. Kevin Keefe, Coast Guard Sector New Orleans Search and Rescue Mission Coordinator. “Our deepest sympathies and condolences go out to the family and friends during this difficult time.”
Rescue crews involved in the search were:
- Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter aircrew
- Coast Guard Station Venice 45-foot Response Boat-Medium boatcrew
The helicopter's pilot and three oil workers went into the Gulf of Mexico about 8:40 a.m. CST, said Petty Officer Jose Hernandez, a spokesperson for the Coast Guard’s 8th District headquartered in New Orleans. Crews in a boat and a helicopter had found no sign of them by evening.
“So far we’ve only found debris and no people,” Hernandez said.
The U.S. Coast Guard have confirmed to KATC that a helicopter crashed in the Gulf of Mexico approximately 10 miles off the coast of Southwest Pass, LA.
The Coast Guard are conducting search and rescue at this time. Officials said they are in search of four crew members.
The helicopter was reportedly in the process of departing an oil platform when it crashed.
We will provide additional information as it becomes available.
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NTSB investigating the 12/29/2022 crash of a Bell 407 helicopter into the Gulf of Mexico near Galliano, Louisiana.— NTSB Newsroom (@NTSB_Newsroom) December 29, 2022