Coast Guard suspends search for missing student off Kauai

USCGC Kittiwake steams away from Diamond Head

USCGC Kittiwake took part in the search for the missing student

HONOLULU — The Coast Guard suspended the search Friday for a student reported overboard from a Japanese training vessel approximately 70 miles southwest of Kauai.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the missing student’s family, friends and loved ones,” said Capt. Shannon Gilreath, commanding officer for Coast Guard Sector Honolulu. “Suspending an active search is a difficult decision to make. We have exhausted all available resources in our efforts, but pending further developments, we have decided to suspend the search.”

The Coast Guard and Navy conducted an extensive search of the area, conducting 36 sorties, totaling 140 mission hours and covering approximately 14,192 square miles.

Involved in the search were an HC-130 Hercules airplane crew from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point, the Coast Guard Cutter Kittiwake, homeported here, the Coast Guard Cutter Kiska, homeported in Hilo, the USS Lake Champlain, homeported in San Diego, Calif., a Navy Lockheed P-3 Orion aircrew from Marine Corps Air Station Kaneohe Bay, Oahu, the Hokuho Maru and eight other Japanese training vessels.

Watchstanders at the Coast Guard Sector Honolulu Command Center were notified at 9:56 a.m., Tuesday, regarding a 17-year-old male Japanese national who was reported overboard from the 208-foot Japanese training vessel, Hokuho Maru during their transit from Honolulu to Japan. The man was last seen at approximately 2:50 a.m., and was reported missing after he did not show up for muster. He was last seen wearing a light green jump suit. It is not known if he was wearing a life jacket.

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