The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) paused its search late Thursday for three Walter Oil & Gas Corp. platform workers and a pilot after a helicopter crashed 10 miles off the coast of Southwest Pass, LA, in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM).

The USCG’s Eighth District, headquartered in New Orleans, conducted a search for about eight hours, covering an area of 180 square miles in the GOM. The search team included a helicopter aircrew and response boat crew. 

“It is always a difficult decision to suspend a search,” said Lt. Cmdr. Kevin Keefe, New Orleans Search and Rescue Mission coordinator. “Our deepest sympathies and condolences go out to the family and friends during this difficult time.”

The USCG said it received a call from Rotorcraft Leasing Co. (RLC) around 8:40 a.m. CT...