Cutter Crew Recovers Body of Missing Waikiki Free Diver

HONOLULU (D14 Public Affairs) – Crewmembers aboard the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Galveston Island this morning recovered the body of a free diver missing off Waikiki since 3:40 p.m. Friday, July 11.

The diver’s body was recovered at 11:03 a.m. Saturday approximately six miles south-southwest of Waikiki in an area where the water is almost 1,800 feet deep. The body was recovered on the surface of the water and search conditions were reported to be “ideal” by the cutter’s crew — with winds out of the northeast at 5-10 knots and a small south swell.

The Galveston Island — a 110-foot patrol boat with a crew of 18 and home ported in Honolulu — was on the very last leg of a six-hour search when a lookout on the bridge spotted the body. The cutter’s crew is to transfer the body to officials with the Honolulu Police Department and City and County of Honolulu’s Emergency Medical Services department at the Coast Guard’s Sand Island base early this afternoon.

The Coast Guard joined the search for the missing diver Friday afternoon and crews with a 41-foot motor lifeboat and the Galveston Island conducted surface searches late yesterday, last night and this morning.

The Honolulu Fire Department was notified at 3:40 p.m. yesterday and contacted the Coast Guard soon thereafter.

“It’s an unfortunate result,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Andrew Reyes, a U.S. Coast Guard search and rescue planner, “but we had terrific cooperation with HFD the whole time. When we partner with HFD and Ocean Safety, we are able to comb more area that much more quickly.”

Crews aboard HFD’s Fire 1 helicopter and Rescue 1 boat were on scene again this morning at first light. The Galveston Island was just wrapping up its search — planned by Reyes from the Coast Guard’s Sand Island command center — when the diver’s body was spotted.

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