OAHU, HI — Two U.S. Marine Corps CH-53 helicopters were missing Friday off the coast of the Hawaiian island of Oahu, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. The U.S. Coast Guard was searching for survivors, Marine Maj. Christine Devine said Friday. The aircraft, from the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, were believed to have collided late Thursday off Oahu’s north shore, according to Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Sara Mooers.
Searchers have spotted a fire and a debris field, including an empty life raft, about 2½ miles north of Haleiwa Beach, Mooers said. A total of 12 people were on board the two heavy-lift transport helicopters, she said.
Marine officials contacted the Coast Guard about the missing aircraft around 11 p.m. (4 a.m. Friday ET), Mooers said.