Two Houston-area Marines among missing after helicopter crash off Oahu coast

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Two Houston-area Marines are among the 12 missing after two helicopters collided off the coast of Oahu, Hawaii, overnight.

Major Shawn Campbell from the Houston area and Corporal Matthew Drown are both missing. Major Campbell is a graduate of Klein High School and Texas A&M. Cpl. Matthew Drown is a Klein Oak High School graduate.

Right now, a search and rescue operation is underway. The Honolulu mayor's office says Haleiwa Alii Beach Park is closed and may remain closed for several days as the rescue effort continues.

The Marine helicopters collided off the Oahu coast in Hawaii during a nighttime training mission. Marine Capt. Timothy Irish said Friday that each helicopter had a six-member crew from Marine Corps Base Hawaii.

Officials are asking people to immediately report any sightings of possible debris to 911 so that authorities can respond quickly.

Honolulu fire, police and ocean safety officials are helping the Marines and the Coast Guard with the search for survivors. Rescuers are contending with rough water conditions and poor visibility.

Enright says rescuers are hopeful survivors will be found.

On Friday, the families of both Campbell and Drown echoed those hopes.

In a statement, Campbell's mother Donna McGrew wrote, in part:

"Thank you for your concern and for your understanding about our desire not to be on camera at this time. My husband and I want everyone to know that this is not about us. This is about the families that are suffering, and about all the sacrifices that our military members and their families make on a daily basis.

My son is a career Marine. He accepted his commission at his graduation from Texas A&M. He is a graduate of Klein High School. He and his wife, Kelli, and their four children live near the Marine base at Kaneohe Bay, Oahu."

Drown's family also issued the following statement:

"We appreciate your concern for our family and respect for our privacy as we deal with this very difficult situation. Our family would like everyone to know this is not about us. This is about all the sacrifices our military members and their families make on a daily basis.

We have to remain hopeful, for Matt's sake and for the lives of the 11 other Marines.

Thank you for the time and space we need to do what's best for our family."

The Associated Press contributed to this report
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