Coast Guard suspends search for missing snorkeler off Maui

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 suspended the active search Friday for a missing 62-year-old man last seen snorkeling off Chang’s Beach.

“With multiple agencies involved in the search, we covered 537 square miles over the course of 75 hours and conducted 29 total searches,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class Soren Johansson, a Sector Honolulu watchstander. “During that time Coast Guard members from Coast Guard Station Maui were able to locate some of the missing man’s snorkeling gear adrift in the water. Though it is a difficult decision to make, we suspended the search after sunset last night pending any new information.”

At 3:34 p.m., Tuesday, Sector Honolulu watchstanders received a report from Coast Guard Station Maui stating they received a call from the snorkeler’s family who said he was overdue.

The snorkeler was last seen rounding the point on the South end of Chang’s Beach off the Makena Surf Resort at 12:30 p.m.

Sector Honolulu watchstanders issued an urgent Marine Information Broadcast notice to mariners and launched Coast Guard assets in response.

Maui County first responders were also deployed in response.

Involved in the search were:

  • Air Station Barbers Point MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrews
  • A Navy Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 37 MH-60R Sea Hawk helicopter crew
  • Coast Guard Station Maui 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crews
  • The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Gerczak (WPC 1126)
  • A Maui County Fire and Public Safety Air 1 helicopter crew
  • A Maui County Ocean Safety Jet-ski operator
  • A Maui County Fire Jet-ski operator
  • A Maui County Fire and Public Safety Boat crew
  • Maui County Fire and Public Safety Ground crews

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