Monday, January 18, 2016

Coast Guard Finds Life Rafts of Missing Marines

Search off Hawaii Finds Life Rafts but No Sign of 12 Marines
By Audrey McAvoy and Jennifer Sinco Kelleher
Jan 18, 2016
Marine Capt. Timothy Irish said Monday that aircrews wear personal flotation devices with their flight suits and get additional training on top of survival swimming training. There are various ways that life rafts could be inflated, including a cord being pulled by debris, he said.
A search vessel cruises the waters off the beach at Haleiwa, Hawaii, Friday, Jan. 15, 2016.
Authorities searching the area where two Marine helicopters crashed off Hawaii have found some life rafts that were carried aboard the aircraft, but still no sign of the 12 crew members who were on board.

Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Sara Mooers said Monday she believes three life rafts have been recovered so far. Some were inflated, but it was unclear how they came to be inflated, she said.

There is no indication that anyone was aboard the rafts, based on their condition and the lack of any personal effects, she said.

The search for the Marines entered its fourth day Monday, with plans to search into the night. Conditions have improved since the start of the search, with much smaller swells expected Monday.

Rescuers from various agencies have been searching since the Coast Guard was notified late Thursday of the crash by a civilian who saw the aircraft flying and then disappear and a fireball.
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