First victims of the Hawaii helicopter crash identified, one body still missing

The body of the seventh person aboard the helicopter has not been found.

December 28, 2019, 7:21 PM

Authorities have preliminary identifications for the pilot and two passengers that were aboard a helicopter that crashed this week during a tour of the Kauai's Nā Pali Coast in Hawaii.

Officials said the pilot was 69-year-old Paul Matero, of Wailua and two of the tourists, were 47-year-old Amy Gannon and 13-year-old Jocelyn Gannon, both of Wisconsin.

"Four other passengers are believed to be a family from Switzerland, however, their identities have not yet been released at this time," according to the press release issued on Saturday by the Kauai Police Department.

PHOTO: A photo shows an area over Napali Coast State Wilderness Park where search and rescue are searching for a tour Helicopter that disappeared in Hawaii with several people aboard on Dec. 27, 2019.
A photo provided by the Hawaii department of Land and Natural Resources shows an area over Napali Coast State Wilderness Park where search and rescue are searching for a tour Helicopter that disappeared in Hawaii with several people aboard on Dec. 27, 2019.
Hawaii DLNR via AP

The body of one of the victims from Switzerland has not been recovered, officials said.

PHOTO: Coast Guard Incident Command Post responders look over a map of the Na Pali Coast State Wilderness Park on the Hawaiian island of Kauai on Friday, Dec. 27, 2019, the day after a tour helicopter disappeared with seven people aboard.
A photo released by the U.S. Coast Guard, Coast Guard Incident Command Post responders look over a map of the Na Pali Coast State Wilderness Park on the Hawaiian island of Kauai on Friday, Dec. 27, 2019, the day after a tour helicopter disappeared with seven people aboard. Authorities say wreckage of the helicopter has been found in a mountainous area on the island.
U.S. Coast Guard via AP

All seven were on a Safari Helicopter Tour on Thursday and last seen around 4:30 p.m. leaving the Waimea Canyon area. The wreckage was found on Friday afternoon in Kōke'e "near steep, remote terrain between Miloli‘i Ridge Road and Nu‘alolo Trail," officials said.

"The Safari Helicopter family, along with the broader community, mourn the loss of seven lives that were on Thursday's sightseeing flights," Safari Helicopter Tours said in a statement on Saturday. "We mourn with the family members of those who were lost in the tragic accident. Among those lost, is our Chief Pilot, Paul Matero."

The company, which said Matero had 12 years of experience on Kauai, said it is fully cooperating with the NTSB and the FAA to determine the cause of this week's crash.

"We would like to express our appreciation to members of the U.S. Coast guard, Hawaii Fire Department and many of our colleagues in the helicopter community who volunteer their assistance in the search operations," the company said in a statement. "Our prayers and love go out to all that are affected by the tragedy."

Recovery efforts continued on Saturday.

Autopsies to positively confirm all identities are still pending.

PHOTO: A Coast Guard search and rescue team looks over Napali Coast State Wilderness Park for a tour Helicopter that disappeared in Hawaii with seven people aboard on Dec. 27, 2019.
A photo provided by the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources shows a Coast Guard search and rescue team looking over Napali Coast State Wilderness Park for a tour Helicopter that disappeared in Hawaii with seven people aboard on Dec. 27, 2019. Authorities say the helicopter's owner called for help about 45 minutes after the chopper was due back from a tour of Kauai's Na Pali Coast on Thursday evening.
Hawaii DLNR via AP
PHOTO: A photo released by the U.S. Coast Guard, Coast Guard Cutter William Hart moves toward the Na Pali Coast on the Hawaiian island of Kauai on Dec. 27, 2019, the day after a tour helicopter disappeared with seven people aboard.
A photo released by the U.S. Coast Guard, Coast Guard Cutter William Hart moves toward the Na Pali Coast on the Hawaiian island of Kauai on Dec. 27, 2019, the day after a tour helicopter disappeared with seven people aboard. Authorities say wreckage of the helicopter has been found in a mountainous area on the island.
U.S. Coast Guard via AP

ABC News' William Carr contributed to this report.

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