Helicopter reported missing on North Carolina coast

July 20, 2021 GMT

ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. (AP) — A search was underway on the North Carolina coast for a helicopter with two people on board that disappeared during a flight from Virginia, the U.S. Coast Guard said Tuesday.

According to a news release, the Coast Guard Sector North Carolina command center was notified by a concerned friend that they had lost communication with the Robinson R44 helicopter at around 6:40 p.m. on Monday. The Coast Guard said the two unidentified men had left from Mecklenburg Brunswick Regional Airport and were heading for the Dare County Regional Airport.

An aircrew found helicopter debris in Albemarle Sound about nine miles (14 kilometers) north of the Alligator River Bridge, and a civilian recovered a backpack with personal belongings inside south of the mouth of the Alligator River, according to the news release.

Personnel from the N.C. Marine Patrol, the NC. Wildlife Resources Commission and the Tyrrell County Sherriff’s Office joined in the search, the Coast Guard said.