Stayton, OR (KPTV) — The search continued Monday for 12 Marines who crashed during a helicopter training mission in Hawaii. 21-year-old Ty Hart from Stayton was among them.
The crew members were in two, CH-53 E Super Stallion helicopters. They were performing a nighttime training exercise two miles off the coast of Oahu when they collided.
Hart’s older brother Cody Avilla tells FOX 12 he can only wait and pray for good news.
“We have the best guys in the world out there looking for him, so all we can do is hope and wait – wait to get the phone call.”
Officials haven’t released any definitive information, but say they have recovered crash debris in the open ocean. However, they’ve found no sign of the crews.
Hart’s family says he was living his dream. He got married seven months ago and was enthusiastic about his career. Hart’s stepmother believes he is out there, fighting to survive.
“I know how strong he is. I know how much mental training this boy has had,” said Trina Hart. “There’s no doubt in my mind right now that he’s treading water, or he’s on a life raft, waiting to be picked up.”
Over the weekend, people in Stayton gathered for a candlelight vigil to pray for Hart. Avilla says the support his overwhelming and he hopes his little brother can feel it.
“He’s the ultimate match for that situation. He will not give up.”