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HFD’s Search for Free-diver Along N. Kohala Coast Nears End

June 13, 2020, 8:44 AM HST
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Courtesy of “Aloha for Malcolm” Facebook page.

For the past four days, Hawai‘i Fire Department has searched the North Kohala coast in hopes of finding Malcolm Davis who disappeared while freediving on June 9.

Today HFD will do two helicopter flights over Mahukona State Park in chopper 2 — once at 10 a.m. and another in the afternoon at the pilot’s discretion for optimum weather. After that, HFD will suspend search operations for the 20-year-old.

“HFD and the Davis family appreciates everyone’s help and efforts to try to bring this fine young man home,” fire officials said. “He touched many lives in his short lifetime.”

Additionally, a drone will be operating in areas coordinated with the Hawai‘i Fire Department. The drone is equipped with thermal imaging.

HFD received a call about Davis’ disappearance at approximately 11:30 a.m., who was last seen offshore of Mahukona State Park. From the day of the report to Thursday, the US Coast Guard assisted with the search.

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HFD performed air and ground searches as well as had dive teams in the water. Grace said the Coast Guard pulled its resources after Thursday’s search.

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The US Navy and Maui Fire Department crews joined the Coast Guard and Hawai‘i Fire Department crews in the search in the search for the 20-year-old with no results.

“We extend our deepest condolences to Malcolm’s family and anyone affected by this tragedy,” said Coast Guard Cmdr. Ben Gates, Sector Honolulu Deputy Commander. “Working with the Hawai‘i County Fire Department, Navy, and Maui Fire Department our crews conducted 23 searches covering 1,101 square miles with no sign of Malcolm. While it is not an easy decision, we suspended the active search after sunset tonight (Thursday) pending any further new information.”

According to officials, HFD only searches three days for a missing person, however, Fire Chief Darren Rosario granted an extra day at the request of Davis’ family.

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Water conditions the day Davis disappeared were moderate. HFD Battalion Chief Michael Grace added that the North Kohala Coast is known for its strong currents.

Aside from search and rescue personnel, Grace said, there were at least 100 people walking the shoreline Thursday. While there is no organized shoreline search happening today, people who want to come out are encouraged to do so with a partner or a group.

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