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Marine CH-53E Helicopter Incident over Hawaii

By Capt. Tim Irish | III Marine Expeditionary Force | January 15, 2016

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The Marine Corps can confirm there is an active search and rescue operation ongoing for two CH-53E helicopters off the coast of Oahu.

The CH-53Es involved in the incident were carrying a total of 12 Marine crew members.

A coordinated search and rescue effort among services and assets in the area is underway.

Approximately 30 U.S. Marines with Marine Aircraft Group 24, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing are at the scene assisting in debris recovery and clean-up, as well as delivering food, water and miscellaneous supplies to those involved in the recovery effort.

The U.S. Coast Guard is currently conducting search and rescue operations with the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Kiska (WPB 1336) from Hilo, Hawaii and Ahi (WPB 87634) from Honolulu, Hawaii as well as an MH-65 helicopter from Air Station Barbers Point and an HC-130 Hercules aircraft.

The U.S. Navy is assisting in the efforts using destroyer ships. The USS John Paul Jones (DDG-53) from Pearl Harbor and USS Gridley (DDG-101) from San Diego are equipped with swimmers and small boats. Additionally, an MH-60R helicopter from Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 37 is at the scene assisting.

Federal Fire Department is on scene assisting the Honolulu Fire Department, and the Honolulu Police Department is assisting to control area access and movement.

We ask the public to not touch any debris that comes ashore from the CH-53s and to respect any cordons the Honolulu Fire Department and Police have established. Please note the location of debris and contact (808) 257-8458 or (808) 257-3023.

The aircraft are from Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 463, MAG 24, 1st MAW from Marine Corps Base Hawaii. We will provide more details as they become available.

Crisis Counseling is available at the Family Assistance Center, Building 216, (808) 257-7780 or (808) 257-8803 at Marine Corps Base Hawaii. Chaplain services are available at the Base Chapel.

For additional information, please contact Capt. Tim Irish at 1-808-216-7183


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