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1 Opihi Picker Rescued, Another Swept Out to Sea

November 15, 2019, 7:37 AM HST
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A search continues for an opihi picker who was swept out to sea Thursday evening in the Honoka‘a District.

Hawai‘i County Fire Department were initially called out for a rescue in Haina at 6:56 p.m. Upon arrival, they learned of two individuals were in need of rescue: one was stranded on shore about 60 feet below cliffs, and the other person had been swept out to sea.

Fire crews executed a rope rescue and were able to successfully bring the trapped opihi picker to safety, who was uninjured.

Fire crews also initiated a search for the missing opihi picker using lights, cameras and infrared sensors. Swells 15 feet high were coming in as they attempted to locate the second party.

“Search was complicated by low light conditions after dusk and lack of moon,” fire officials stated.

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Chopper one and two responded to the scene as well as the US Coast Guard to search for the missing party. Crews on Chopper one searched the Hāmākua coastline for the missing person until about 11:30 p.m. The coast guard continued through the night.

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Chopper one was scheduled to pick up the search again at first light today.

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