Two bodies found after helicopter goes down off NC coast

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 24, 2021

ELIZABETH CITY (AP) — The bodies of two brothers from Virginia have been found after the helicopter they were traveling in disappeared off the North Carolina coast, authorities said.

Officials were notified Thursday that the body of one man was found in the Albemarle Sound, the Tyrrell County Sheriff’s Office said in a Facebook post. Responders recovered the body of John Arant, 35, and a short time later, they found the body of his brother, Alan Arant, 36, who was the pilot of the aircraft, the sheriff’s office said. News outlets report that the brothers were from Glade Hill, Virginia.

Emergency responders began searching for the helicopter and the brothers after a concerned friend notified officials that they lost communication with the Robinson R44 helicopter Monday evening, the Coast Guard said. The helicopter left from Mecklenburg Brunswick Regional Airport and was heading for the Dare County Regional Airport.

The National Transportation Safety Board tweeted Wednesday that it is investigating the crash.

In addition to the Coast Guard and the Tyrrell Sheriff’s Office, the agencies involved in the search included the N.C. Marine Patrol, U.S. Fish & Wildlife and N.C. Emergency Management.