Search for missing diver ends after body recovered near Nawilliwilli

U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Kittiwake file photo by Petty Officer Luke Clayton.

HONOLULU — The Coast Guard’s search for a missing diver ended when a body was located 23 miles southeast of Nawilliwilli, Friday.

A commercial tug transiting from Kauai to Oahu noticed a strobe light at 5:20 a.m. Friday, which was attached to JJ Jackson’s bouyancy control device. Jackson was not with the equipment. The location of the dive gear prompted a redirection of assets into a new search area.

At 1:17 p.m., a body fitting the description of Jackson was recovered by a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew from Coast Guard Station Kauai and transported to Nawilliwilli Harbor. The body was turned over to city officials.

Assets that participated in the 4-day search were Coast Guard Cutters Kittiwake and Galveston Island, Response Boat-Medium crews from Station Kauai and Station Honolulu, MH-65 Dolphin helicopter and HC-130 Hercules airplane crews from Air Station Barbers Point. A Coast Guard Auxiliary vessel also assisted in addition to crews from the Honolulu Fire Department.

On-scene assets completed 62 sorties, searched a total of 7,292 square miles and deployed two self-locating datum marker buoys.

Watchstanders at Sector Honolulu Command Center received notification from one of the divers reporting an overdue 50-year-old male at 10:30 p.m. Jackson was last seen Monday at 8:15 p.m. approximately one mile off Makaha Beach Park.

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