Marine Helicopters Collide Off Hawaii

Friday, January 15th 2016, 8:06 am
By: News 9

The Coast Guard is leading a search off the Hawaiian island of Oahu after reports that two Marine helicopters had collided.

CBS News national security correspondent David Martin reports that the incident involved two CH53 helicopters, which are called "Sea Stallions." Both helicopters had six people on board. There is no information on survivors.

Coast Guard Petty Officer Sara Mooers told CBS Honolulu affiliate KGMB-TV that a Wailua resident reported hearing aircraft and then saw a fireball. Another individual reported seeing a flare.

Coast Guard District 14 tells CBS News its personnel arrived on scene just after midnight local time and spotted a debris field, an empty life raft and fire on the water two and a half miles from Haleiwa.

The aircraft were from the Marine Corps Air Station at Kaneohe Bay.

A Navy helicopter and Honolulu Fire Department chopper and rescue boat were also taking part in the search.

KGMB-TV reports waves off Oahu's north shore are expected to be 30-40 feet high beginning Friday, with the largest swells of the season rolling in.