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Coast Guard searching for missing helicopter crew in the Gulf of Mexico

MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans. One of these helicopters is in the search mission of the missing Bell 407 crew.
Archive image: an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans trains with a Station New Orleans boatcrew in Lake Pontchartrain near New Orleans the past November 22, 2019. The training prepared the boatcrew and aircrew to effectively respond to search and rescue cases together.
One of these helicopters is in the search mission of the missing Bell 407 crew.
U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Travis Magee.

NEW ORLEANS — The Coast Guard is search for two people aboard an overdue helicopter that likely crashed in the Gulf of Mexico, Saturday. The aircraft is a Bell 407 with tail number N79LP (C/N 53027, year built 1996) and the owner is Panther Marine.

Watchstanders at U.S. Coast Guard District Eight received a report at 10:37 a.m. from the owner company (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.

HC-144 Ocean Sentry from Mobile, Ala. prepares for a flight. The Ocean Sentry is the Coast Guard medium range surveillance aircraft.
Archive image: the crew of an HC-144 Ocean Sentry from Mobile, Ala. prepares for a flight. The Ocean Sentry is the Coast Guard medium range surveillance aircraft.
US Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class David Weydert.

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

-USCG-

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