Coast Guard suspends search for missing person off Big Island

File photo of an HC-130 from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point

Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point HC-130 Hercules aircraft file photo.

HONOLULU — The Coast Guard suspended the search for a missing 40-year-old man off the coast of the Big Is-land near Honokaa, Sunday.

“We extend our condolences to his friends and loved ones during this trying time,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Casey Connors, a Coast Guard Sector Honolulu watchstander. “Working with the Hawaii County Fire Department, our crews conducted 40 searches covering over 2,011 square miles. There has been no sign of the missing person, and we suspended our search tonight at sunset pending further information.”

Involved in the search were:

  • The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Walnut (WLB 205)
  • Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point HC-130 Hercules airplane aircrews
  • Hawaii County Fire Department first responder ground crews
  • Hawaii County Fire Department helicopter crew
  • An Air Station Barbers Point MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crews
  • The Coast Guard Cutter Ahi (WPB 87364) crew

At 6:37 p.m., Thursday, Sector Honolulu watchstanders received a report from the Hawaii County Fire Department stating they received notification from the man’s friends he was miss-ing.

The man, along with another friend, was harvesting Opihi when they both were swept offshore by a wave. One of them managed to swim back to shore and made contact with their friends who were searching for them when they failed to return by a set time.

The Hawaii County Fire Department deployed ground crews to rescue the man from the shore-line while other Coast Guard and Hawaii County Fire Department crews continued to search for the missing man throughout the weekend.

He was last seen wearing a red long-sleeve shirt with camouflage pants and a black backpack. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Sector Honolulu Command Center at 808-842-2600.

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