The incident occurred while the aircrew was performing small boat hoist operations with a CG Station Honolulu 47' motor life boat during the early evening hours of Sept 4. Immediately after the crash, a Honolulu Fire Department Response Boat recovered LCDR Wischmeier, AST1 Skimin and AMT2 Nichols without any vital signs. The fire department boat crew performed CPR and the three Coast Guardsmen were medically evacuated to a local hospital but they did not survive. The search for CDR Nelson, who was also the Executive Officer (XO) of Air Station, Barbers Point, was suspended after three days of intensive searching.
The conclusion of the Coast Guard investigation found that while engaged in hoist training operations the hoist cable became fouled in the dewatering standpipe of the motor life boat the helicopter was training with. The cable snapped resulting in damage to the main rotor of the helicopter. Just over 3 minutes later, with the helicopter traveling approximately 2.1 nautical miles, the the rotor head experienced a catastrophic failure and the helicopter crashed into the sea from a height of approximately 450 feet. The investigation found no indication of any wrong doing on the part of the helicopter or boat crews.