Gulf Of Mexico, LA Helicopter Crashes Off Coast, Apr 1976
TWELVE FEARED LOST IN HELICOPTER CRASH IN GULF.
Cameron, La. (AP) -- A helicopter carrying 12 persons, including five Texans, to an oil company drilling platform crashed into the Gulf of Mexico Friday and searchers said there was no sign of survivors. It was the second tragedy involving Louisiana off-shore oil workers in eight days.
Four bodies were found floating amid debris from the helicopter. Teams searched for eight others.
The craft, a Bell 205 owned by Petroleum Helicopters, Inc., went down 60 miles south of Cameron, a small town on the Louisiana coast near the Texas border. The pilot was identified as WALTER BARGER, of Nederland, Tex.
The others on board were employed by Dolphin International, Inc., of Lafayette, La. A company spokesman identified them as:
JOE COSTLOW, 47, of LaRue, Tex.; CLIFFORD MILLS, 22, of Collinsville, Tex.; JERRY WILSON, 24, of Whitesboro, Tex.; G. FLORENCE, of Gordonsville, Tex.; CONRAD KROLL, 48, of Abbeville, La.; GERALD TAYLOR, 27, of Olla, La.; V. H. POOLE, 43, Jena, La.; TERRY BROWN, 22, of Broussard, La.; D. W. MULLEN, 37, of Brookhaven, Miss.; CHARLES DUNAWAY, 28, of Jayess, Miss.; and BOBBY RAY COLEMAN, 28, of Jonesboro, La.
In New Orleans, word of the deaths rippled through a Coast Guard hearing where testimony was being taken about the sinking of an offshore oil rig last Thursday. Thirteen persons died in that incident.
A spokesman for Petroleum Helicopters, Inc., owners of the helicopter, said there was no indication as to why the craft went down. A dispatcher monitoring the radio said he heard a switch click open on a microphone and then heard a loud noise.
Valley Morning Star Harlingen Texas 1976-04-24