The search for four persons who were aboard a helicopter that went down in the Gulf of Mexico on Thursday morning has been called off by the United States Coast Guard. At approximately 8:40 in the morning, when the helicopter was flying away from an oil platform, it crashed approximately 10 miles off the coast of Southwest Pass in Louisiana.
After searching for about 180 square miles over the course of eight hours with a boatcrew and an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans, the search was called off at 6:15 in the morning. The debris was found, but there were no survivors to be found.
According to a statement released by the Coast Guard Sector New Orleans Search and Rescue Mission Coordinator, Lieutenant Commander Kevin Keefe, “It is always a difficult choice to cease a search.” During this trying time, we want the family and friends of the deceased to know that we are thinking of them and sending our condolences.
Rotorcraft Leasing Company, which touts itself as the “biggest privately-held helicopter operator in the Gulf of Mexico,” was the owner of the chopper. On Thursday, a request for comment was sent to the corporation, but a spokeswoman for the company did not immediately answer.
The search has been put on hold, according to Petty Officer Jose Hernandez, who spoke to Fox News Digital, “until fresh information becomes available that will help us with our search efforts.”
Approximately 3,200 oil and gas structures are operational in the Gulf of Mexico. These buildings range in size from single good caissons in shallow water to large drilling sites in depths of up to 10,000 feet. Some of these sites are located on the outer continental shelf.
In a different incident earlier this month, the Coast Guard saved three persons aboard a helicopter that went down in the Gulf of Mexico while trying to land on an oil rig about 30 miles south of the coast of Louisiana. The aircraft went down while attempting to land on the platform.
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