Reports are being received of an overnight search and rescue mission underway for an Army Black Hawk crew off the coast of Oahu, Hawaii.
In a release from the Coast Guard on the incident, the Coast Guard stated the Army Black Hawk helicopter was taking part in a training exercise and reported to have five crew members on board the helicopter when it went down two miles off Kaena Point. The United States Coast Guard Command Center in Honolulu was notified by staff from Wheeler Army Airfield at approximately 10:08 PM local Hawaiian time, stating they lost communication with a Black Hawk helicopter conducting a training mission. Two Black Hawks were participating in the training exercise at the time of the incident.
A debris field was spotted approximately two miles from shore by military personnel around 11:30 PM. Tuesday night. An extensive rescue effort hoping to locate survivors currently underway involves helicopters from Wheeler Army Airfield, the U.S. Coast Guard, An HC13o from Coast Guard Station Barbers Point and multiple boats from the Coast Guard and Honolulu Fire Service.
UPDATE: As of 3PM eastern time, a media spokesman for the Army responding to inquires confirmed that the helicopter down in the crash was a UH-60 attached to the 25th Combat Aviation Brigade. The spokesman stated that crews were still searching for survivors from the crash although none had been located as of this afternoon mainland time. Local media in Hawaii reported that an unidentified section of fuselage was recovered not far from shore off Kaena point where the helicopter last had visual and radio contact with the other helicopter it was training with. Ka’Ena point and the government owned land around the point remains closed as ground searches continue along the shoreline looking for debris from the downed Sikorsky UH-60.
This story will be updated as more information becomes available.