UPDATE: Snorkeler Dies Off Old Airport Beach Park
UPDATE: Nov. 20, 2017, 4:17 p.m.
Hawai’i Island police have located a 51-year-old man who was reported missing.
On Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017, at approximately 6 p.m., officers responded to a report of a missing person in the Old Kona Airport Beach in Kailua-Kona area.
A family member had reported the man missing while they were visiting the beach sometime around 4 p.m. The man was reportedly heading into the water when last seen. Family members were unable to find him after he was gone for over an hour.
Officers, along with Hawaiʻi Fire Department personnel, were summoned to the area to assist in searching for the missing man, but by sundown, he was not found.
At about 1:39 a.m. this morning, Monday, Nov. 20, U.S. Coast Guard personnel located an unresponsive person in the water approximately 1.5 miles offshore of the Kailua Pier.
Through investigation, officers determined the unresponsive person to be the missing man. No signs of visible injury were observed and no foul play is suspected.
At 7:45 a.m., officers contacted a family member, who positively identified the man at Kona Community Hospital.
He has been identified as Richard Reikowski of South Carolina.
Police are conducting an autopsy to determine the man’s exact cause of death.
Anyone with any information is asked to call Sergeant Mekia Rose at (808) 326-4646, ext.253, or the department’s non-emergency number at (808) 935-3311.
ORIGINAL POST: Nov. 20, 8:10 a.m.
The search for a missing snorkeler off Old Airport Beach Park on Hawai‘i Island was conducted on Sunday and Monday, Nov. 19 and 20, 2017.
The Hawai‘i Fire Department met with the snorkeler’s spouse at 5:46 p.m., who reported that her 51-year-old husband was last seen approximately three hours earlier when he walked north up the beach to go snorkeling.
She did not see where he entered the water, but had searched for him for some time prior to calling 911.
Fire department personnel searched the rocky shoreline area fronting Old Kona Airport (aka Old A’s) Beach Park on foot and offshore with Rescue Boat 7 and Chopper 2. Efforts were coordinated with the U.S. CG and the Hawai‘i Police Department.
HFD and HPD search called off at 7:15 p.m. due to darkness with the intention of resuming the search with additional resources at first light on Monday.
In the meantime, the U.S. Coast Guard from O‘ahu searched throughout the night and notified the HFD at 1:38 a.m. early Monday morning that a body was found approximately .5 miles offshore of Old A’s.
The location was marked. HFD launched rescue boat and recovered the body at 2:55 a.m. The victim was transported to the HPD at Honokohau Harbor.