Update: Coast Guard suspends search for overdue aircraft in the Gulf of Mexico

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UPDATE (12/9) — The Coast Guard suspended its search for the two people aboard an overdue helicopter that crashed in the Gulf of Mexico, Monday.

Coast Guard crews searched over 4,117 square-nautical miles for approximately 68 hours but were unable to find the passengers. 

“It is never easy to suspend a search,” said Lt. Cmdr. Michelle Ferguson from Coast Guard Sector New Orleans. “We searched diligently with our pilots, boat crews and cutter crews but were unable to find the two men aboard the helicopter. Our condolences go out to the friends and family of the two men.”

NEW ORLEANS — The Coast Guard is searching for two people aboard an overdue helicopter that likely crashed in the Gulf of Mexico, Saturday.

The tail number of the helicopter is N79LP and the owner is Panther Marine.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard District Eight received a report at 10:37 a.m. from Panther Marine that the helicopter crew did not reach their destination. The passengers were transiting from one offshore platform to another but Panther Marine lost communications when they were 10 minutes from landing.

The crews last known position was 13 nautical miles west of Southwest Pass, Louisiana.

Involved in the search are:

  • Coast Guard District Eight watchstanders
  • Coast Guard Sector New Orleans watchstanders
  • Coast Guard Aviation Training Center Mobile HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircrew
  • Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans MH-65 Dolphin aircrew
  • Coast Guard Station Venice Response Boat-Medium boat crew
  • Panther Marine

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