In breaking military news, the search for 12 Marines missing after two helicopters crashed off the coast of Hawaii has been suspended. The U.S. Coast Guard suspended the search for the Marines as of sunset on Tuesday evening.
During the press conference announcing the suspension of the search it was announced that the Marine Corps was transitioning to "recovery and salvage efforts" and a memorial was planned for Friday at Marine Corps Base Hawaii.
"A decision to suspend searching without finding survivors is extremely difficult given the depth of its impact and I know I speak for the entire Coast Guard when I say our thoughts and prayers are with Marine Corps helicopter squadron and particularly with families and loved ones of those missing," Captain Jim Jenkins, acting commander of the Coast Guard's 14th District, said.
The around-the-clock effort failed to locate any sign of the 12 service members despite five days of searching some 40,000 square nautical miles of ocean, along with shorelines, by several agencies.
Yesterday, it was reported that all four life rafts had been recovered without any sign of survivors.
The search began when Marines were alerted that two CH-53E helicopters carrying six crew members each failed to return to their base at Kaneohe Bay following a nighttime training mission. Hours later, a Coast Guard helicopter and C-130 airplane spotted debris 2 1/2 miles off of Oahu.
The transport helicopters were part of the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing at Marine Corps Base Hawaii. Known as Super Stallions, they are the U.S. military's largest helicopter, capable of carrying a light armored vehicle, 16 tons of cargo or a team of combat-equipped Marines, according to a Marine Corps website.
Out thoughts and prayers go out to the families and loved ones of these 12 Marines.
Comments will be approved before showing up.