Search suspended for four missing after helicopter crash in Gulf of Mexico

The US Coast Guard (USCG) eventually had to suspend a search for four people who were on a Bell 407 helicopter which went down in the US Gulf of Mexico while departing from an oil platform on December 29th.

The search was called off at 18:00 local time after eight hours of searching, The helicopter crashed at about 08:40. Pieces of the helicopter, which crashed off the coast of Louisiana, had been located, but there was no sign of the people on board.

USCG Petty Officer Jose Hernandez said that Rotorcraft Leasing Company owned the helicopter. When the crash happened, he said the pilot had just picked up three oil workers from a Houston-based Walter Oil and Gas platform.

The helicopter went down about 10 miles offshore of Southwest Pass, a shipping channel at the mouth of the Mississippi River southeast of New Orleans.

Weather did not appear to be a factor in the crash as there were no reports of storms in the area on December 29th. The National Transport Safety Board was reported to be investigating the incident.