Coast Guard, HFD Search for Missing Free Diver
A missing free driver is being searched for by the United States Coast Guard and Hawai’i County Fire Department Thursday morning after going missing while diving with two friends in North Kohala Wednesday night.
Watchstanders at the Coast Guard Sector Honolulu Command Center received an initial report at 2:40 a.m. Thursday from the missing man’s two friends, who reported they had last seen him at 10:30 p.m.
According to the friends, the man was wearing a black wetsuit as they dived at the end of Old Coast Guard Road in North Kohala.
The Dolphin crew from Air Station Barbers Point was immediately launched and the Cutter Ahi crew was also dispatched.
A submerged dive light was located by the Dolphin crew when they arrived on scene, but it was undetermined if the diver was in the area of the light when it was sighted.
Hawai’i County Fire Department divers have since recovered the light and a fishing spear, but the diver has not been located.
The Coast Guard says that the diver’s disappearance does not appear to be connected with Wednesday night’s Tsunami Advisory, which has since been canceled, since the diver disappeared several hours prior to the forecasted arrival of potential waves and current.
An HC-130 Hercules crew is scheduled to join the search by mid-morning Thursday.
In addition, an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast has been issued alerting mariners in the area to keep a sharp lookout and report any sighting.
The diver has not been identified.
Anyone with information that may assist in locating the missing diver should contact the Coast Guard Sector Honolulu Command Center at (808) 842-2600.