KAUAI, HAWAII – On December 26, a tourist helicopter crashed with 7 people on board during a tour on the island of Kauai – Hawaii’s most northern island, west of Oahu. The helicopter crash killed 6 people and 1 person was missing after the crash.
Solomon Kanoho – head of the Kauai Hawaiian Island Fire Department – said the helicopter disappeared from radar on Thursday December 26. There were 7 people on board – one pilot and 6 passengers, 2 of whom were children.
According to a news release, the helicopter would return on December 26 from a tour of Kauai’s Na Pali coast at 5:21 PM local time. 45 minutes later, when the helicopter did not return, the helicopter’s owner contacted the Coast Guard immediately. The wreck of the missing helicopter was found later in the Kokee area, west of the island.
Due to heavy clouds and rain on the island of Kauai there is a visibility of 4 miles (6.4 km) at the time, with winds at 28 mph (45 km/h).
“We can confirm that there were 7 people on board and we found 6 bodies. There are no indications that there might be survivors,” Solomon Konoho said during a press conference. He added that rescuers will continue to search for the missing person on board the helicopter on the morning of December 28, if weather conditions permit.
“The weather conditions are challenging,“ Petty Officer First Class Robert Cox of the Coast Guard Joint Rescue Coordination Center Honolulu said. “We have trained crews responding and on scene searching for any signs of the helicopter and those aboard.”
A great part of the island of Kauai is a state park and helicopter tours are common above the island.
(Head photo: Falco Ermert)