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UPDATE: HFD Halts Search for Body Off Hawi

April 7, 2019, 2:30 PM HST (Updated April 7, 2019, 6:22 PM)
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UPDATE: April 7, 2019, 5:30 PM

Hawai‘i County fire officials have halted their search for a body that was spotted in the waters off Hawi on Hawai‘i Island today.

The body was initially reported floating about 30 yards from shore from a steep cliff in North Kohala, a half-mile northwest to the end of Lokahi Road.

Hawai‘i County fire officials say a chopper from the Waiakea Rescue Station arrived on scene and observed what appeared to be a “large tiger shark circling the body.”

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Rescuers made various attempts to retrieve the body with a Billy Pugh net, but they were ultimately unable to do so.

“In the process of putting a Fire Rescue Specialist in the Billy Pugh net to recover the body, a bystander reported that a shark had submerged the body and it was no longer visible,” the county fire department said in a news release.

Aerial searches were conducted for a short time after until they were called off this afternoon.

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Officials added that they believe to have recovered the belongings of the victim on the cliff near the area.

ORIGINAL POST: April 7, 2:30 PM

Hawai‘i County Fire Department officials located a body floating in the waters off the shore of Hawi on the Big Island on Sunday, April 7, 2019, the department reported at about 1:30 p.m.

Officials reported locating the body of a diver in the water as a shark circled it just before noon.

After several attempts, rescue personnel were unable to bring it to shore.

Officials are reportedly treating it as a missing persons case at this time.

The Hawai‘i Fire Department has not issued an official press release on the incident yet.

This story will be updated as information becomes available.

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