Find happens day after search scaled back
Hilo, Hawaii – Video by Baron Sekiya, www.Hawaii247.com
The body of a California man who went missing while swimming in the Wailuku River has been found, after days of searching.
24 year old Ryan J. Ritzel, an employee of the visiting Pride of America cruise ship, was last seen swimming with friends at Boiling Pots in Hilo, at the base of Peepee Falls.
The Hawaii County Fire Department says the body was recovered shortly after 9 a.m. on Sunday.
Chopper One located the body “in the area that he was last seen” along the Wailuku River, and fire rescue ground teams helped the chopper recover the body. The case has now been turned over to the Hawaii County Police Department.
Recent rainfall has caused the Wialuku River to swell into violent rapids in recent weeks. When Ritzel was first reported missing, police and fire rescue began a search that would last for three days. The video seen above, courtesy Baron Sekiya of www.Hawaii247.com, is from Saturday. The fire department decided to scale down the search operation, before finding the body this morning.