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UPDATE: HFD Halts Search for Body Off Hawi

April 7, 2019, 2:30 PM HST
* Updated April 7, 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.”

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

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“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.

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

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

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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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