U.S. Coast Guard searching for missing North Shore surfer

HONOLULU — The U.S. Coast Guard was searching last night for a surfer reported missing at Kawela Bay on Oahu’s North Shore.

A witness in the surf reported a surfer went under at about 5:15 p.m. in waves reported to have faces of between 10 to 12 feet. The fellow surfer called 911 at 5:27 p.m. and the Honolulu Fire Department launched a search involving firefighters on shore and HFD’s Air 1 rescue helicopter.

HFD also notified the Coast Guard and an air crew aboard an HH-65 Dolphin rescue helicopter from Air Station Barbers Point was launched at 5:28 p.m. The Coast Guard air crew was on scene at 6:14 p.m. and reported winds out of the southeast at 10 knots and seas of 10 to 12 feet and building rapidly.

HFD stopped searching at approximately 6:40 p.m., but may resume this morning.

“We’ve conducted two full search patterns already,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Matt Couling, a search and rescue controller at the Coast Guard’s 24-hour command center on Sand Island. “We’re hoping the missing surfer is just on shore somewhere and has made his way in. If so, we’re asking anyone with information to call the Coast Guard.”

The Coast Guard will search through the night. Kawela Bay is near Turtle Bay and Kahuku Point on the North Shore of Oahu. Anyone with information is asked to call the Coast Guard at 808-842-2601.

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