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Missing Diver Possibly Shark Attack Victim

October 10, 2019, 3:32 PM HST
* Updated October 10, 5:08 PM
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Alan Delatorre. Courtesy photo.

Maj. Robert Wagner, of the Hawai‘i Police Department, said the disappearance of Alan Delatorre on Friday, Oct. 4, 2019, was possibly the result of a shark attack.

A source told Big Island Now this week that search-and-rescue divers recovered clothes and equipment, which were found in “shredded” condition. Because HFD responders were unable to locate a body, police filed the initial report as a missing person.

Delatorre, 45, failed to return home following a solo dive last Friday night. Neither his family or friends have heard from him in the six days since.

His truck was located on the morning of Sunday, Oct. 6 in the area of Aliʻi Drive. Rescue personnel on Sunday searched the shoreline and waters near Bubba’s Beach, the beach area near Waterfront Row. Responders also deployed a helicopter.

A dive buoy that is believed to belong to Delatorre was also located approximately 100 yards offshore in the same area.

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Alan Delatorre is described as being 5 feet, 4 inches, 156 pounds, medium build, with black hair and brown eyes.

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According to a Hawai‘i Department of Land and Natural Resources incident list, there have been 13 confirmed shark attacks in the state this year, including two in Big Island Waters — both off West Hawai‘i shores.

The first occurred at ‘Anaeho‘omalu Bay, roughly 35 yards offshore, at 8:30 a.m. on April 23. The other happened at Kealakekua Bay about 15 yards from shore, at 8 a.m. on Aug. 20.

Shark attacks are more likely in murky waters at dusk or dawn, when sharks are more likely to mistake humans for their typical prey. Strong currents and heavy surf also make shark attacks more likely.

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The VEGA IRONMAN World Championship is scheduled to put more than 2,500 athletes into the water Saturday. The swim course begins at Kailua Pier, one bay north of the area where Delatorre disappeared. The swim track runs south past the waters in question.

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