SAN PEDRO (CBSLA.com) — Crews from multiple agencies were scouring the waters off the coast of San Pedro Wednesday evening for a missing helicopter carrying two people.
According to the U.S. Coast Guard, a Robinson R22 took off from Zamperini Field in Torrance this afternoon and did not return. Based on radar logs, the helicopter lifted off at around 4:35 p.m. and made its way to Terminal Island. It disappeared off the radar at 5:37 p.m. There were no distress calls sent from the helicopter. In a late evening news conference, Port Police Chief Tom Gazsi said two people were believed to be aboard the helicopter, a pilot and a passenger.
Gazsi said several people aboard a cruise ship reported seeing the helicopter crash.
“Pretty much, they got really close and it looked like it tilted sideways, and it looked like it went under,” witness Steven Nocon told KCAL9.
Gazsi said the search was focused on an area with about a one-mile radius near Cabrillo Beach and Angels Gate Park, inside the breakwater. As of 9:30 p.m., no helicopter or debris had been found. Crews were scanning the water with sonar. The search would continue into the night, Gazsi said.
Los Angeles Harbor was closed off to vessel traffic.
Los Angeles police and Los Angeles County Fire were assisting in the search.