Update: Search Continues for Victims of Helicopter Crash
U.S. Coast Guard
|Thursday, March 25, 2004
The U.S. Coast Guard continues to search today for survivors of a helicopter that crashed in the Gulf of Mexico 90 miles south of Galveston, Texas, Tuesday night.
Four bodies were recovered in a debris field 60 miles south of Galveston between 4:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. Wednesday. The victims were transported to Freeport, Texas, at about 2:30 a.m. today by the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Manta and another vessel assisting in the search efforts, and were turned over to Galveston County Medical Examiners Office.
The victims recovered Wednesday have not yet been identified, however the names of five of the 10 people aboard the helicopter are now available. Crewmembers include: pilot Tim B. O'Neal, 50, of El Lago, Texas; and co-pilot Donald J. Janning, 46, of Monument, Colo. Passengers include: Jason Petitjean, 34, and Trampas Terwillegar, 27, both from Rayne, La.; and David Kamolsiri, 24, of Houston. The names of the other five passengers have not been released to the Coast Guard.
The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Skipjack is on scene this morning searching the debris field, with the assistance of four commercial offshore supply vessels. A U.S. Coast Guard Dolphin rescue helicopter crew from Air Station Houston and a Falcon rescue jet crew from Air Station Corpus Christi, Texas, also resumed searching this morning. Two commercial helicopters are also searching the area. Numerous other boats and aircraft from the companies whose employees were aboard the helicopter are also assisting in the search.
The U.S. Coast Guard is requesting that all mariners transiting near the search area keep a sharp lookout and render assistance if possible.