Coast Guard suspends active search for Kauai freediver

Author : Feefiona123

U.S. Coast Guard 14th District Hawaii and the Pacific
Contact: 14th District Public Affairs

HONOLULU — The Coast Guard suspended the active search for Nelson Kupenes off Kauai, Wednesday.

Kupenes, 47 years-old, remains missing.

“Since Monday our crews have worked closely with Kauai first responders and Japan Coast Guard conducting 38 searches over 902 square nautical miles, amounting to over 83 hours on scene,” said Chief Petty Officer David Kissell, a search and rescue mission coordinator for Coast Guard District 14. “During that time Kauai first responders were able to locate some of Mr Kupenes’ fishing gear adrift in the water. While it is a difficult decision to make, we suspended the search after sunset today pending any new information.”

At 11:11 a.m., Monday, Sector Honolulu watchstanders received a report from the Kauai Police Department stating that Kupenes did not return and his car remained in the parking lot at Glass Beach.

Watchstanders issued an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast notice to mariners and launched multiple Coast Guard assets. The Japan Coast Guard vessel Kojima, currently in Honolulu for search and rescue training, also joined the search.

Involved in the search:

– An Air Station Barbers Point HC-130 Hercules airplane aircrew
-An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrew
-Coast Guard Station Kauai 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew
-The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Gerczak (WPC 1126)
-The crew of the Japan Coast Guard vessel Kojima (The 3rd PL21)
-Kauai Police Department
-Kauai Fire Department Air One helicopter aircrew

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