Coast Guard, Hawaii County Fire Department crews searching for missing boater near Kailua, Kona

HONOLULU — U.S. Coast Guard and Hawaii County Fire Department crews are searching for a possible missing person in the water near Kailua, Kona on the Big Island.

The person is reported to be an athletic, 250-pound, 40-year-old man, wearing a black and gray rash guard and black shorts. He was reported to be traveling between Honokohau to Kealakekua Bay to meet friends.

The Coast Guard received a report at 6:16 p.m. Wednesday from Big Island authorities concerning a small power vessel running in circles with no one aboard. A Hawaii Fire Department rescue boat crew was first on scene.

Hawaii Police Department officers determined the man had rented a vessel from a marina at Honokohau. Hawaii County officials reported fishing gear was found aboard the vessel.

An HH-65 Dolphin rescue helicopter crew from Air Station Barbers Point was on scene at about 10 p.m. Thursday and commenced a search, starting in Kealakekua Bay to two nautical miles offshore from the missing man’s last known position off the Kailua, Kona coastline. Crewmembers aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Kiska, a 110-foot patrol boat homeported in Hilo, also joined the search early Thursday, at about 7 a.m. Both Coast Guard crews plan to search through Friday morning.

On-scene weather conditions are reported to be calm, with good visibility.

Anyone with information about the missing man is asked to call Hawaii County authorities or the Coast Guard in Honolulu at 808-842-2600 or via VHF marine band radio channel 16.

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