UPDATE: HFD, Coast Guard Search for Kona Woman Off Kapoho Bay
***Updated at 11:10 a.m. to include additional information from the United States Coast Guard.***
A Navy helicopter crew from the 37th Helicopter Squadron has joined in the search for missing 33-year-old Amber Savant.
The United States Coast Guard says that a combined total of ten sorties and an area covering 1,914 square miles have been searched by on-scene crews.
U.S. Coast Guard officials also say the search area extends up to 35 miles off shore based on currents and drift.
Stay with Big Island Now as we continue to follow this story.
***Original story posted at 7:30 a.m.***
A 33-year-old woman, identified as Amber Savant of Kona, is being searched for in the Kapoho Bay area after being swept out by a rip current while spear fishing with two friends Sunday afternoon.
The Hawai’i County Fire Department responded to a 2:45 p.m. call, stating that Savant had been last seen about 150 yards offshore near the outer reef break. According to the caller, Savant was separated from the group when a rip current started pulling her out into deeper waters.
HFD personnel used a helicopter, jet ski, free divers, and ground crews to conduct searches of the inner and outer reef areas, along with deeper waters and shoreline along the coast.
The searched lasted until nightfall Sunday, and was picked up again by HFD Monday morning at daybreak.
A U.S. Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew and a HC-130 Hercules aircrew from Air Station Barbers Point searched throughout the night for Savant and were joined Monday morning by U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Kittiwake and HFD personnel.
Savant reportedly has blonde hair, is 5-foot-7, and weighs 140 pounds. She was last seen wearing camouflage pants, a black tank top, dive weights, and carrying a spear gun.
Anyone with information about the incident should contact the Sector Honolulu Command Center at (808) 842-2600.