Search Continues for 12 Marines Missing After Helicopters Crash Near Hawaii
Twelve Marines are still missing Sunday, days after their helicopters crashed for reasons not yet known off the coast of Hawaii.
The two heavy lift CH-53 helicopters crashed Thursday near Oahu, kicking off a massive search and rescue effort that's been hampered by dangerously high surf and one mysterious green laser, possibly of civilian origin.
Four officers and eight enlisted Marines make up the missing men, who range in age from 21 to 41 and hail from all regions of America.
Despite the dangerous conditions, there was no indication over the weekend that officials planned to curb their huge rescue efforts.
The continued efforts had families, like that of Maj. Shawn Campell, 41, clinging to hope.
"My husband and I want everyone to know that this is not about us," Donna McGrew, Campbell's mother, said in a statement obtained by the Associated Press. "This is about the families that are suffering, and about all the sacrifices that our military members and their families make on a daily basis."
The official list of missing Marines is as follows:
Maj. Shawn M. Campbell, 41, College Station, Texas.
Capt. Brian T. Kennedy, 31, Philadelphia
Capt. Kevin T. Roche, 30, St. Louis
Capt. Steven R. Torbert, 29, Florence, Alabama.
Sgt. Dillon J. Semolina, 24,Chaska, Minnesota.
Sgt. Adam C. Schoeller, 25, Gardners, Pennsylvania.
Sgt. Jeffrey A. Sempler, 22, Woodruff, South Carolina.
Sgt. William J. Turner, 25, Florala, Alabama.
Cpl. Matthew R. Drown, 23, Spring, Texas.
Cpl. Thomas J. Jardas, 22, Fort Myers, Florida.
Cpl. Christopher J. Orlando, 23, Hingham, Massachusetts.
Lance Cpl. Ty L. Hart, 21, Aumsville, Oregon.
As for the green laser, officials said that it struck a Coast Guard plane, which was then forced to change its search pattern in order to avoid being hit with the beam.
"It's a very, very dangerous thing," Coast Guard spokeswoman Tara Molle said of the laser.
Molle reminded the public that targeting an aircraft with a laser is not only extremely dangerous but also illegal and could result in fine of $11,000 per violation.
The helicopters were out on a nighttime training mission Thursday and the Coast Guard was first alerted when they both failed to return their base at Kaneohe Bay.
The Coast Guard spotted debris 2 1/2 miles off Oahu several hours later.