Search Suspended for Missing ‘Opihi Fisherman

December 20, 2021, 4:11 PM HST
* Updated December 20, 4:13 PM
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The U.S. Coast Guard suspended the active search Monday for a missing 46-year-old man last seen Saturday south of Honokōhau Harbor.

“A total of 29 searches were conducted covering 658 square miles totaling 29.34 hours of active searching,” said Petty Officer 1st Class James Shaw, a search and rescue planner at Sector Honolulu, in a press release. “It is always a difficult decision to make, but we have suspended the search this afternoon pending any new information.”

At 11:57 a.m., Saturday, Sector Honolulu watchstanders received a report from the Hawai‘i County Fire Department stating they received a report that the freediver was seen being swept offshore due to a wave surge.

The freediver was last seen picking ‘opihi approximately a quarter nautical-mile south of Honokōhau Harbor.

Sector Honolulu watchstanders issued an urgent notice to mariners and launched multiple Coast Guard assets in response.


Involved in the search were an Air Station Barbers Point MH-65 Dolphin Helicopter aircrew; the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Gerczak; and Hawai‘i County Fire Department ground crews, dive teams and Air 1 and Air 2 helicopter crews.

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