While Coast Guard and other law enforcement agencies searching for KFMB-TV
photographer Sean O'Kane, missing since Monday morning, continued to refer to
their efforts as a "rescue," by Tuesday his colleagues had accepted that O'Kane
had all but certainly perished in a crash.
The Navy reservist was flying alone on a day off in a rented helicopter which
apparently went down off the coast of North San Diego County while flying north
for a training session in Long Beach.
Searchers had found only a small oil slick and some debris by mid-day
During his flight up the Southern California coast Monday morning, O'Kane
asked air traffic controllers for permission to increase his altitude to get out
of a cloud bank, but lost contact with them shortly after.
He did not arrived in Long Beach as planned Monday, and authorities were
concerned about a small oil slick and some debris found near the shore.
Witnesses in the Encinitas area told KNSD they heard sounds of an engine
backfiring and sputtering.
Flying was a hobby for O'Kane.
KFMB News Director Fred D'Ambrosi said that some of the staff from KFMB-TV
and from KNSD(TV), where O'Kane had worked previously, went to the Moonlight
Beach area near Encinitas Monday night to look out on the search "and to
The mood there was somber and many were already fearing the worst.
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