Coast Guard, Honolulu Fire Department locate missing kayaker off Oahu

Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Gerczak file photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Matthew West

Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Gerczak file photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Matthew West

HONOLULU — The Coast Guard and Honolulu County Fire Department located a 56-year-old male kayaker who went missing near Haleiwa Beach Park, Monday evening.

The missing kayaker had made his way to shore after becoming separated from his friend. Good Samaritans reported seeing a kayaker leaving the water who matched his description and notified the Honolulu Fire Department. The battalion chief was able to speak to the kayaker by phone and verify he was safe. There were no reported injuries.

“His friend did the right thing and contacted authorities once he realized they were separated,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Alvin Seguin, a Coast Guard Sector Honolulu watchstander. “If you find yourself in such a situation it is best to err on the side of caution and notify us immediately. We would much rather search for someone who is not in trouble than not search for someone who is. Any time a missing person is found safe and sound, it is a good day.”

At 5:10 p.m., Sector Honolulu watchstanders received a report from the Honolulu Fire Department stating two kayakers had been boating in the area when they became separated. Once his friend noticed the other was missing he made his way back to the beach and called 911. He reported he had last seen his friend about 500-yards off Alligator Rock Beach Park in a white Surf Ski watercraft and had been wearing black shorts and a lime-green shirt with a life-jacket.

Honolulu County first responders set up an incident command post on the shore and began searching the area with ground and air assets. Sector Honolulu watchstanders launched a Station Honolulu 45-foot Response Boat-Medium and Air Station Barbers Point MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crews to assist. The Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Gerczak (WPC 1126) crew was also diverted to respond. Sector Honolulu watchstanders issued an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast Notice to mariners requesting they keep a sharp lookout for signs of distress.

The kayaker had made his way to the Hawaii Polo Grounds at Mokuleia where he then asked good Samaritans for a ride back to his resort. Some had heard his description in the missing person report and notified the Honolulu Fire Department. The Fire Department was then able to call the kayaker.

“We recommend waterway users keep safety in mind when they enjoy the ocean,” said Seguin. “It is best to inform someone of your plans and to research the weather before you leave. In Hawaii, you can find your local conditions at http://hawaiibeachsafety.com.”

Involved in the search were:

  • A Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew
  • A Coast Guard Station Honolulu 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew
  • The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Gerczak
  • A Honolulu Fire Department helicopter crew
  • Honolulu Fire Department ground crews

The weather on the scene at the time was winds of 11 mph and seas up to 2 feet.


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