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December 11, 2008 - 11:53 AM
A helicopter has gone down in the Gulf of Mexico, and the Coast Guard reports one of the five people on board was found alive in the water.
Petty Officer Renee Aiello tells KFDM News the helicopter was reported down at 9:47 a.m. Thursday about two miles off the coast of Sabine Pass. She says the call came into the 8th District Operations Center in New Orleans from Rotorcraft, a helicopter leasing company. Aiello says the helicopter pilot had not checked in as scheduled. Aiello says reports indicate a pilot and four passengers were on board.
Coast Guard Air Station Houston launched an MH-65 rescue helicopter crew and sent a boat crew from Station Sabine. The cutter Heron also responded. The helicopter rescue crew found one adult male. His condition is unknown. That person is being transported to land and will then be taken to a hospital. Aiello doesn't know the status of the four other people. Aiello says the Coast Guard crew also spotted debris in the water.
The helicopter was heading to an unmanned oil platform about 18 miles into the Gulf.
"We know there was an event that took place; we're still in the process of searching," said Gerald Golden, director of operations for Rotorcraft Leasing Co. LLC, of Broussard, La. "Once we learn anything, we'll be in a position to give more details."
The air temperature was about 36 degrees, with water temperatures at 62 degrees around the time of the crash, said Donovan Landreneau, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Lake Charles, La. Wind was blowing from the west at 23 knots, and there was a small craft advisory in effect.
A spokesman for the National Transportation Safety Board in Washington said investigators would work with the Federal Aviation Administration to determine the cause of the crash.
Stay with KFDM News for further details.
The Coast Guard continues searching for two other passengers who were aboard the helicopter that crashed en route to a oil platform 18 miles off the coast of Sabine Pass, according to a representative with the MSU Port Arthur.
The Coast Guard began searching for the victims of a Rotorcraft Leasing Company helicopter that missed a check-in and was reported missing at 9:47 a.m. by the company.
One survivor and some debris were found 2 miles from the shore of Sabine Pass. The survivor was taken to the Sabine Pass Coast Guard Station where he later died.
Rotorcraft Leasing Co. is based in Broussard, La., near Lafayette. The company's Web site states that Rotorcraft, founded in 1990, provides helicopter service to the oil and gas industry throughout the Gulf of Mexico.
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Sad news, but the GOM operations are right up there with EMS in the US.... or right down there more accurately.
Just sad to keep reading about the same thing after all these years.