East Hawaii News

UPDATE: No Sign of Opihi Picker Missing Along Kapoho Coast

May 30, 2014, 4:01 PM HST
* Updated June 2, 4:32 PM
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***Updated 9:47 a.m. Monday, June 2.***

The Hawaii County Fire Department planned one more day of searching today for an opihi picker missing along the Puna coast since Thursday afternoon.

Battalion Chief Warren Sumida said the department had extended the shoreline search one more day at the request of the family of the missing man.

The Coast Guard suspended its search for 30-year-old Peter Mahoe on Sunday after covering more than 1,400 square miles using the Hilo-based cutter Kiska, and an airplane and helicopter deployed from Air Station Barbers Point on Oahu.

The search for the missing man began Thursday afternoon.

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Mahoe was last seen between noon and 2 p.m. that day climbing down a cliff near Cape Kumakahi, an area near Kapoho that is the Big Island’s easternmost point.

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“The decision to suspend our active search efforts is always difficult and was not made lightly, but one that had to be made at this time,” said Capt. Shannon Gilreath, Coast Guard Sector Honolulu commanding officer.

“Our hearts ache at the loss of this honorable young veteran and our thoughts are with his loving wife, mother and siblings that have shown how much he meant to them.”

Over the weekend, the fire department used a boat to search an area a mile north and three miles south of Mahoe’s last known position. The boat also conducted dive operations 1.5 miles in either direction, while a ground crew conducted a search of the shoreline.

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No sign of the missing man has been found, the fire department said.

Posted 4:01 p.m. Friday, May 30:

A search is underway for a 30-year-old man missing Thursday while picking opihi near Cape Kumakahi in Puna.

The Coast Guard said the missing man, Peter Mahoe, was last seen climbing down a cliff face between noon and 2 p.m.

The Hilo-based Coast Guard cutter Kiska is searching for the man aided by an HC-130 Hercules airplane and MH-65 Dolphin helicopter, both launched from Air Station Barbers Point on Oahu.

Google Maps (click to enlarge).

Google Maps (click to enlarge).

The Hawaii County police and fire departments are assisting in the search.

Mahoe’s all-terrain vehicle was found 200 feet from the area where he was last seen, a Coast Guard spokesperson said. His family was also camping close by.

Mahoe is described as 5-foot-6, with shoulder-length brown hair. He was reported to be wearing blue boardshorts.

Anyone with information on the matter is asked to contact Coast Guard Sector Honolulu at 808-842-2600.

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