Man found dead in ocean after emergency call for missing boat captain
The Hawaiʻi Fire Department, responding to a call Tuesday morning about a missing boat captain, recovered the body of a male about 30 yards offshore of Mahai‘ula Beach Park in West Hawai‘i.
A crew member on a 35-foot dive tour boat told the fire department that the captain stayed on the boat during a dive but was missing when the divers surfaced.
First responders contacted the boat’s crew, after relocating from Honokōhau Harbor, to determine where the captain had gone missing.
Five fire department units and the U.S. Coast Guard searched by sea and air for the missing man, who was spotted by Chopper 2.
The call about the missing boat captain came in to dispatch at 11:18 a.m. and the first fire department units were on scene by 11:31 a.m.
The incident and cause of death are under investigation.
Kona patrol officers with the Hawai’i Police Department at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday were assigned to assist with a coroner’s investigation at Kona Community Hospital after it was reported that an unidentified male was found unresponsive in the water between Honokōhau Harbor and Kekaha Kai State Park, according to Hawai’i Police Department public relations specialist Denise Laitinen.
The victim was transported to Kona Community Hospital from Honokōhau Harbor. He was later pronounced dead at the hospital.
Laitinen reported that the state Department of Land and Natural Resources is the lead agency in connection with the incident given that it occurred in the ocean. Subsequently, the Coast Guard was notified and is continuing the investigation.