Multiple agencies are searching for five U.S. Marines who were on board a helicopter that was reported missing early Wednesday.
The CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter was flying from Creech Air Force Base in Nevada to Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in the San Diego area when it was “reported overdue” on Tuesday night, the U.S. Marine Corps said. The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department confirmed it had been contacted shortly before 2 a.m. to join the search efforts.
The department sent its own chopper to look for the aircraft but it was unable to reach the area due to powerful winter storms, according to ABC News, opting to send off-road vehicles to search the rough terrain instead. Cal Fire was also asked to assist, KGTV reports, with the agency sending firefighters to the helicopter’s last known location in the Cleveland National Forest. Officials said they were unable to find the aircraft.
“The 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing is coordinating search and rescue efforts with the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department and the Civil Air Patrol,” Marine officials said in a statement. “The most up-to-date information will be released as it becomes available.”