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Search launched for missing helicopter in Hawaii

Posted at 1:11 PM, Dec 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-27 15:11:58-05

KAUAI - The Coast Guard was searching Thursday night for an overdue tour helicopter with seven people on board, including two children, CBS Honolulu affiliate KGMB-TV reports. Crews were using planes and cutters in the search.

The chopper didn't come back from a tour off the Na Pali coast of the Hawaiian island of Kauai.

Petty Officer 1st Class Robert Cox, of Coast Guard Joint Rescue Command Center Honolulu, called weather conditions in the search area "challenging," with low visibility and blustery winds.

"We have trained crews responding and on scene searching for any signs of the helicopter and those aboard," Cox said in a news release issued Thursday night.

The Coast Guard was alerted to the missing Kauai-based helicopter about 6 p.m., some 40 minutes after it was supposed to return.

The pilot and six passengers were on board.

The aircraft is equipped with an electronic locator, but no signals have been received, officials said.

The Coast Guard said it launched an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter, a cutter and other resources to search for the missing helicopter. Additional search efforts were are scheduled for first light.