Coast Guard continues search for Kona woman off Big Island of Hawaii

KittiwakeHONOLULU — The Coast Guard and Hawaii County Fire Department are continuing the search Monday for 33-year-old Amber Savant of Kona presumed swept out to sea while free diving Sunday near Kapoho Bay, Big Island.

She is reportedly blonde haired, 5-feet 7-inches tall and 140 pounds. She was last seen Sunday wearing camouflage pants, a black tank top, dive weights and carrying a spear gun. She and her diving companion encountered strong tides and currents that immediately swept her offshore during their first dive at 2:30 p.m.

Currently searching are: an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew and an HC-130 Hercules airplane crew from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point and the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Kittiwake (WPB 87316), an 87-foot coastal patrol boat homeported in Honolulu. Two jet ski crews and a helicopter crew from Hawaii County Fire Department are searching as well as a Navy helicopter crew from the 37th Helicopter Squadron.

On-scene assets have completed 10 sorties and searched a total of 1,914 square miles. Based on currents and drift, the search area extends up to 35 miles (30 nautical miles) off shore.

Watchstanders at the Coast Guard Sector Honolulu Command Center received a report at 2:52 p.m., Sunday, alerting them to the situation. They immediately launched the Dolphin helicopter crew and issued an urgent marine information broadcast requesting the assistance of any mariners in the area. HCFD responded with a helicopter crew and two jet ski crews.

On-scene weather conditions are reportedly 11 mph winds and 5-foot seas.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Coast Guard Sector Honolulu Command Center at 808-842-2600.

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