Saturday, September 6, 2008

So Sad

Well some of you might have read this on my myspace but i figured it should be put up here too... (and i have the new article as well)...

So Today i picked up my husband from work to go to my OB appointment with me and he informed me that a 65 from Barbers Pt. crashed today. Three people where found and pronounced dead and the fourth S.O.B. (soul on board) was not found... this really hit me hard, for all who don't know Barbers Pt. is in Honolulu Hawaii... we had a 65 Helo on our boat from Barbers Pt. for our summer patrol.

I immediately started asking Tommy who the people on board where. He only was sure of one name and that was the LCDR (the pilot). My heart sank our lead pilot was named the same name Wischmeier. He said that he was the only officer and they all had families which meant that three out of the four of the rest of our former air crew where not on it. I later called one of my friends on the boat and found out that it was the same pilot and we also "knew" the fourth guy that is missing. 

This really hit home for me. Not only because i knew the two guys, the LCDR gave me a lot of advice on my career and everything. But because they where in the CG doing small boat ops... i've done small boat ops with a Helo before in Montauk... as a matter of fact i did helo ops on the cutter with Mr. Wischmeier... 

Please Keep their families in your prayers. Life is unpredictable.

Here is the news article...

3 dead, 1 missing in CG helo crash off Hawaii

By Philip Ewing - Staff writer
Posted : Saturday Sep 6, 2008 7:44:35 EDT

Three Coast Guardsmen are dead and one remained missing Friday after an HH-65C Dolphin rescue helicopter crashed at sea Thursday night off the coast of Hawaii during a training exercise with a motor lifeboat.

The Dolphin was practicing raising and lowering its rescue basket with a 47-foot motor lifeboat when it crashed, said Lt. John Titchen, a spokesman for Coast Guard District 14, which covers Hawaii. A Honolulu Fire Department boat pulled three of the crashed Dolphin’s crew members from the water and transferred them to another Dolphin, which flew them late Thursday to a hospital, where they died.

The dead were identified as co-pilot Lt. Cmdr. Andrew Wischmeier, 44, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; rescue swimmer Petty Officer 1st Class David Skimin, 38, of San Bernardino, Calif.; and flight mechanic Petty Officer 2nd Class Joshua Nichols, 27, of Gloucester, Va., according to the Coast Guard. The name of the missing crew member was not released.

There was no early indication of what caused the crash. A Coast Guard announcement described the weather conditions at the time of the crash as “favorable,” with winds below 15 knots and seas below 8 feet.

The crew members of an Air Force C-17 Globemaster III cargo plane radioed the FAA and the Coast Guard that they had seen the helicopter crash Thursday, Titchen said, and circled the crash site until other boats and aircraft could get to the scene. The Coast Guard continued searching through the night for the missing fourth crew member, Tichen said, including the 110-foot patrol boat Kiska, homeported in Hilo, and a C-130 Hercules patrol plane from Coast Guard Air Station Barber’s Point. The Honolulu Fire and Police Departments were set to join the search after first light.

The crashed helicopter, one of four Dolphins stationed in Hawaii, had completed the Deepwater modifications to upgrade it to a “C” model by the end of 2007, Titchen said. The “Charlie”-model Dolphins have more powerful engines and improved electronic systems than the stock variant.

Rear Adm. Mason Brown, the commander of District 14, called the crash “a terrible circumstance” in an announcement, and Titchen said that the deaths were devastating for Coast Guardsmen everywhere.

“The Coast Guard’s a small service, especially here in Hawaii, and this loss is felt by every Coast Guard member, especially here, and our hearts go out to the families of the missing, and our lost shipmates. We grieve for them. It’s been a really hard day.”

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