Coast Guard, Hawaii County Fire Department continue search for missing diver near Big Island

KittiwakeHONOLULU — The Coast Guard and Hawaii County Fire Department continue the search for a missing diver off Puako Beach, Big Island, Thursday.

The Coast Guard Cutter Kittiwake, an 87-foot coastal patrol boat homeported in Honolulu, an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew and HC-130 Hercules airplane crew from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point continue searching for 69-year-old Diana Wolking. A helicopter crew, rescue boat crew and divers with Hawaii County Fire Department also continue searching.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Honolulu received notification at 7:20 p.m., Wednesday, from good Samaritans on the beach who witnessed Wolking enter the water just before sunset. After more than an hour, they noticed her truck still parked at the beach and could not locate any sign of her in the water or near the beach.

Wolking was last seen wearing a black rash guard, black and white bikini bottom with a scuba tank and black fins.

Current on-scene weather conditions are 16 mph winds and 3-foot seas with good visibility.

On-scene assets have completed 14 sorties, searched a total of 295 square miles and deployed two self-locating datum marker buoys.

Watchstanders at the Sector Honolulu Command Center use data gathered from the SLDMBs and the search and rescue optimal planning system to calculate the search area. SAROPS is a software system that uses simulated particles generated by users in a graphical interface. These particles are then influenced by environmental data to provide information on search object drift. Using information on a point of origin and local currently, it calculates the most likely area to find a person or object in the water.

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

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