“We’ve suspended several searches recently for folks who’ve gone missing in the water without locating them and it does not get easier,” said Cmdr. Arex Avanni, deputy commanding officer at Coast Guard Sector Honolulu. “As with any missing persons search we saturated the area in an attempt to locate Mr. Cooke, but pending further developments, we have decided to suspend the active search. The Pacific Ocean is very dangerous, especially when we have heavy surf conditions. Our thoughts go out to his friends and family.”
On-scene assets searched approximately 8,930 square miles and deployed two self-locating datum marker buoys.
Involved in the search were an HC-130 Hercules airplane crew and MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point, the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Kittiwake and a Coast Guard Auxiliary airplane crew. Hawaii County Fire Department jet ski and helicopter crews searched as well.
Cooke’s girlfriend reported him missing to the Honolulu Police Department, Wednesday, after he failed to return from a surfing trip. Watchstanders at the Coast Guard Sector Honolulu Command Center received notification from HPD Thursday morning after Cooke’s truck was found at Missions of Saint Peter church near Waimea Bay with his dog and keys still inside. The watchstanders responded by launching the Hercules crew. Cooke’s surfboard has been located and recovered by a friend.