Coast Guard suspends search for missing swimmer off Kauai

Coast Guard Cutter Oliver Berry file photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Matthew West)

Coast Guard Cutter Oliver Berry file photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Matthew West)

HONOLULU — The Coast Guard suspended the active search for Matthew Preziose off Lumaha’i Beach, Tuesday.

Preziose, 26-years-old, remains missing. The active search has been suspended pending further information.

“During this case our crews have worked closely with the Kauai Fire Department, Kauai Ocean Safety, Kauai Police Department and Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources conducting 35 searches over 61 search hours and covering 652 square miles with no sign of Mr. Preziose,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Jonathan Lackey, a Sector Honolulu watchstander. “These are always the most difficult decisions to make in our line of work and our condolences go to Mr. Preziose’s family and friends.”

Preziose is described as wearing dark-blue shorts, no shirt, and 3 gold chains. Waterway users are requested to keep a sharp lookout for signs of distress and anyone with information is requested to contact the Sector Honolulu command center at 808-842-2600.

At 1:07 p.m., Saturday, Kauai County Dispatch received a report from a good Samaritan at Lumaha’i beach who witnessed two swimmers in distress 200-yards off shore. One of the swimmers was able to make it back to the beach while the other remained missing.

Coast Guard Station Kauai launched a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew in response and notified Coast Guard Sector Honolulu watchstanders who issued an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast notice to mariners and deployed an Air Station Barbers Point MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrew and the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Oliver Berry.

First responders from the Kauai Fire Department, Kauai Ocean Safety, Kauai Police Department, and the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources were also deployed to search and an incident command post was established.

Involved in the search:

  • Crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Oliver Berry
  • Station Kauai 45-foot response boat medium crews
  • Air Station Barbers Point MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crews
  • Kauai Fire Department Air 1 Helicopter crew
  • Ocean Safety Jet Ski operators
  • Kauai Fire Department ground crews
  • Kauai Police Department officers
  • Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources responders

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