SOUTHWEST PASS, La. (KPEL News) - The U.S. Coast Guard suspended its search for a downed helicopter and its four missing passengers in the Gulf of Mexico overnight.

According to the Coast Guard, the search was suspended after crewed searched approximately 180 square miles over the course of eight hours.

Our news partners at KATC say the search came after authorities were called around 8:40 a.m. Thursday morning. That call, which came from Rotorcraft Leasing Company, said that a helicopter carrying four passengers had departed an oil platform in the Gulf, but had gone down.

After searching the area for several hours, the Coast Guard suspended its search.

“It is always a difficult decision to suspend a search,” said Lt. Cmdr. Kevin Keefe, Coast Guard Sector New Orleans Search and Rescue Mission Coordinator. “Our deepest sympathies and condolences go out to the family and friends during this difficult time.”

Rescue crews involved in the search were:

  • Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter aircrew
  • Coast Guard Station Venice 45-foot Response Boat-Medium boatcrew

“So far we’ve only found debris and no people,” said Petty Officer Jose Hernandez, spokesperson for the Coast Guard’s 8th District headquartered in New Orleans.


The U.S. Coast Guard is searching for a missing helicopter that was carrying four people over the Gulf of Mexico Thursday.

According to a social media post from the Coast Guard, the helicopter was approximately 10 miles offshore from Southwest Pass in Plaquemines Parish. It had departed from an oil platform and was on its way back onshore at the time of the crash.

Officials are conducting the search and rescue, attempting to recover the four people aboard the helicopter. We will provide more information when it becomes available.

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