HALEIWA, Hawaii (CBS/AP) — State Police and the family of a marine missing after two Marine Corps helicopters crashed off the coast of Hawaii have confirmed it’s Christopher Orlando of Hingham.
The 23-year-old Massachusetts native and 11 other marines remain missing after the Thursday night crash, Massachusetts State Police say.
Rescuers searched choppy waters where debris was sighted after two Marine Corps helicopters carrying six crew members each crashed off the Hawaiian island of Oahu during a nighttime training mission, military officials said.
The Coast Guard says the search area has been expanded to include waters off Waianae in addition to Oahu’s north shore.
On Saturday, the Orlando family released a statement, saying “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.”
“We are blessed with great love and support from family and friends,” reads the statement. “We continue to monitor the ongoing search effort in Hawaii and are thankful for the hard work of the many federal and local heroes undertaking this search and rescue mission.”
The flight crew chief is a 2010 graduate of Hingham High School. Neighbors say he loves to surf, and he has been stationed in Hawaii for about 1 1/2 years.
Neighbors were stunned at the news.
“To have something happen while you’re here on American soil is really frightening,” says Mary Magnant, who lives two doors down from the Orlando family. “It’s 10 times the tragedy.”
A local police officer hung a marine flag outside of Hingham Town Hall.
A retired marine also delivered flowers to the Orlando family. He told WBZ-TV’s Chantee Lans he lost his best friend while serving in the marines.
State Police say Orlando’s mother is a retired Massachusetts State Trooper.
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