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Coast Guard searches for missing Hawaii tour helicopter with 7 onboard

The Coast Guard is searching for a helicopter and the seven people on board after the craft failed to return from a scheduled tour on Thursday evening.

The helicopter was due back at 5:21 p.m. from a tour of Kauai’s Nā Pali Coast with one pilot and six passengers, including two passengers who are reportedly minors, according to a Coast Guard statement.

Officials said the aircraft is equipped with an electronic locator, but no signals have been received.

“The weather conditions are challenging. We have trained crews responding and on scene searching for any signs of the helicopter and those aboard,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Robert Cox, Coast Guard Joint Rescue Coordination Center Honolulu.

Friday’s forecast includes the potential for scattered rain showers as well as continued winds around 23 mph and wind waves at 6 feet.

The Coast Guard noted that nearly 80 percent of Kauai is uninhabited. Several tour companies operate helicopter tours over the state park.

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