Chat with us in Facebook Messenger. Find out what's happening in the world as it unfolds.

Marines missing after Hawaii copter crash are named

Story highlights

  • "We are still searching for survivors," official says
  • The search extends eight miles out to sea from Oahu's North Shore
  • Surfers and those along coast are warned about possible debris

(CNN)Rescuers have expanded their search for 12 Marines missing since their two military helicopters apparently collided in the waters off the Hawaiian island of Oahu.

A Navy ship equipped with sonar was expected to arrive Sunday to conduct an underwater search. The Coast Guard said the search has widened along the North Shore and extends at least eight miles out to sea.
    It warned people along the coast to alert the Marines if they find any debris along the coast. The area is a popular surfing destination and surfers were told to avoid any debris in the water.
    A Marine Corps CH-53E Super Stallion
    Coast Guard Capt. James Jenkins said that some debris has been collected, consistent with the types of aircraft missing, but that it's still coming in, and that he couldn't comment further.
    When asked about the possibility of a laser having played a role in the apparent crash, Jenkins said answering at this point would be speculative. The focus right now, he said, is on the search-and-rescue effort.
    "We are still searching for survivors. That's an important point to make," he told reporters.

    Apparent collision

    The two CH-53 copters appear to have gone down during a training flight off the Hawaii island of Oahu late Thursday, authorities said. No mayday call was received, just word that something had gone wrong, said Coast Guard spokesman Lt. Scott Carr said.
    A civilian on the beach first told authorities of seeing a fireball, followed by a second person reporting a flare.
    Searchers spotted a fire and debris field, including an empty life raft, about 2 1/2 miles north of Haleiwa Beach and later floating pieces of debris consistent with military aircraft.
    Six people were on board each of the heavy-lift transport helicopters.

    Corps names Marines

    The Marine Corps has named the 12 missing men. Base Hawaii named them as:
    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
    "Our thoughts and prayers are with the Marines and their families as we continue search and rescue efforts," Base Hawaii said.

    Loved ones of missing

    Sgt. Schoeller's family released a statement saying it is sill optimistic. "There are thousands praying for a positive outcome for these Marines, and the search and rescue efforts. We value all of the thoughts and prayers offered up on our behalf during this very difficult time."
    USMC Corporal Christopher Orlando
    Cpl. Orlando's family asked for prayers for him and the other missing Marines. "We would like to thank everyone who continues to pray and send their expressions of concern and love for the safe return of United States Marine Corps Corporal Christopher Orlando and his fellow Marines," they said.
    The family of Captain Kevin Roche told CNN that he is among the 12 Marines missing in the Hawaii helicopters collision.
    Capt. Roche's family described him as a passionate Marine. "We believe the Marines and Coast Guard are doing everything they can to bring Kevin and his fellow Marines home safely and we are grateful to everyone involved in the rescue," they said in a statement.
    Loved ones have reported Maj. Shawn Campbell and Cpl. Matthew Drown missing after the Hawaii helicopter crash.
    Maj. Campbell's mother, Donna McGrew said a Marine officer visited her at home to brief her. Campbell has a wife and four children, and has done three tours of duty in the Middle East.
    "My heart just breaks, there are 11 other families going through this now. God bless them," McGrew said.