Helicopter with 4 on board crashes in the Gulf of Mexico

The US Coast Guard spent hours Thursday searching the waters off Louisiana for four people aboard a helicopter that crashed from an oil rig.

The helicopter pilot and three oil workers entered the Gulf of Mexico around 8:40 a.m. CST, said Petty Officer Jose Hernandez, a spokesman for the Coast Guard’s 8th District headquartered in Nova Scotia. Orleans. The crews of a boat and a helicopter had found no sign of them in the evening.

“So far we’ve only found debris and no one,” Hernandez said.

The Coast Guard suspended the search around 6:15 p.m. local time. Crews searched an area of ‚Äč‚Äčabout 180 square miles for 8 hours, the Coast Guard said.

“It’s always a tough decision to put a search on hold,” said Lt. Cmdr. Kevin Keefe, Coast Guard Sector New Orleans search and rescue mission coordinator, said in a statement. “Our deepest sympathies and condolences go out to family and friends during this difficult time.”

One of the missing workers is David Scarborough, 36, of Lizana, Mississippi, according to his wife. Lacy Scarborough told the Sun Herald newspaper that she was expecting a baby and her husband recently got a promotion.

She said her family was praying for her husband and the others to be saved safely.

“He loved his job and his colleagues,” said Lacy Scarborough.

The helicopter crashed about 10 miles off Southwest Pass, a shipping channel at the mouth of the Mississippi River southeast of New Orleans. Helicopters regularly ferry workers to and from oil rigs in the Gulf.

Hernandez said the oil rig is operated by Houston-based Walter Oil and Gas. The Associated Press contacted a company spokesperson, who was not immediately available for comment.

Weather did not appear to be a factor in the crash, Hernandez said, as no storms were reported in the area Thursday.

The National Transportation Safety Board said it was investigating the accident.

Two weeks ago, the Coast Guard rescued three people after a helicopter crashed off the Louisiana coast while trying to land on an oil rig. This accident occurred on December 15 south of Terrebonne Bay, about 97 kilometers west of the area that the Coast Guard was searching Thursday.

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