US Coast Guard searches for 4 missing in Gulf of Mexico helicopter crash, miles off Louisiana’s Southwest Pass

Baton Rouge, Louisiana — The U.S. Coast Guard spent hours Thursday searching waters off Louisiana for four people aboard a helicopter that crashed while leaving an oil platform.

The helicopter’s pilot and three oil workers went into the Gulf of Mexico at 8:40 a.m., said Petty Officer Jose Hernandez, a spokesman for the Coast Guard’s 8th District headquarters in New Orleans. A boat and a helicopter crew found no sign of them by midday.

“We’re still looking for all four of them,” Hernandez said at 3:20 p.m. “We haven’t found anyone.”

One of the missing workers is David Scarborough, 36, of Lizana, Mississippi, according to his wife. Lacey Scarborough said Sun Herald newspaper that she is expecting a child and that her husband recently received a job promotion.

She said her family is praying that her husband and others will be rescued safely.

“He enjoyed his work and his colleagues,” Lacey Scarborough said.

The helicopter went down about 10 miles offshore in Southwest Pass, a shipping channel at the mouth of the Mississippi River southeast of New Orleans. Helicopters regularly transport workers to and from oil platforms in the Gulf.

Hernandez said the oil platform is operated by Houston-based Walter Oil & Gas. The Associated Press reached a spokesperson for the company, who was not immediately available for comment.

Hernandez said weather did not appear to be a factor in the crash, as there were no reports of storms in the area Thursday.

Two weeks ago, the Coast Guard rescued three people after a helicopter crashed off the coast of Louisiana while trying to land on an oil rig platform. The accident happened Dec. 15 south of Terrebonne Bay, about 60 miles west of what the Coast Guard was investigating Thursday.

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