It's news the families of 12 missing U.S. Marines did not want to hear.

FOX's Carmen Roberts explains:

After five long difficult days of searching rough water and miles of coast line in Hawaii, a dreaded decision:

(Sanborn) "The goal now is to switch to the recovery and salvage operations, also the recovery of any of the debris and any other remains that may be discovered so that we can get closure to those families."

Marine Brigadier General Russell Sanborn. A recovery mission means search crews have given up hope of finding the men alive.

Crews found all four of the life rafts, but no sign of the men. The 12 aboard two helicopters failed to return after a night training mission.

Witnesses say they saw a fireball, however the Marines don't know if the choppers collided.

Carmen Roberts. FOX News.