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Helicopter with 2 on board reported down off Hawaiian island

An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point from Oahu, conducts a medical evacuation demonstration on April 7, 2016. Navy and Coast Guard assets, including a Dolphin helicopter, were involved in a search on Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017, after a helicopter with two on board was reported down off the coast of Molokai.

TARA MOLLE/U.S. COAST GUARD

By THE HONOLULU STAR-ADVERTISER Published: October 17, 2017

HONOLULU (Tribune News Service) — U.S. Coast Guard and Navy crews are searching for a private helicopter with two people on board that reportedly went down off Molokai.

Searchers have spotted debris in the water northwest of Molokai, Coast Guard officials said late Monday night.

The Coast Guard received a call from the Daniel K. International Airport control tower at 7:26 p.m., reporting that the tower had lost communications with a privately owned Robinson R44 helicopter with two people aboard.

The Coast Guard and Navy began a search operation that includes a HC-130 Hercules airplane and MH-65 Dolphin helicopters from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point; the Coast Guard Cutter Ahi from Honolulu; and a MH-60R Seahawk helicopter from Navy Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 37.

Officials said the missing helicopter left Honolulu Monday on a day trip to Molokai and was on its way back.

Weather in the search area included 30 mph winds and 12-to-15-foot seas, they said.

This is the second Molokai helicopter accident in less than a year. On Nov. 15, prominent Honolulu attorney Gary Galiher crashed his private helicopter while flying from Honolulu to a helipad on his east Molokai property. Galiher and his passenger, Hawaii real estate agent Keiko Kuroki, were killed.

©2017 The Honolulu Star-Advertiser
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