Papaikou, Hawaii– The search for the missing boater in the waters off Papaikou has ended, still with no sight of overdue Big Island fisherman Mitchell Wailani.
The 80 year-old Wailani embarked on a multi-day fishing trip on July 5 and had not been in contact with family or friends since Thursday evening.
Wailani’s vessel was spotted on Saturday evening, run aground in Papaikou with no one aboard.
From the U.S. Coast Guard media release:
The Hilo-based Coast Guard Cutter Kiska, HC-130 Hercules aircraft and MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crews partnered with the Coast Guard Auxiliary and Hawaii County Fire Department rescue crews to search the area. In total the search effort required 20 search patterns and covered an estimated 3,206 square miles from Hilo Bay to the Alenuihaha Channel.
“After saturating the search area with multiple assets over the course of three days, the difficult decision to suspend the search was made, pending any new information that develops,” said Sector Honolulu search and rescue specialist Charles Turner. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the Wailani family.”
The fire department also detailed the search for Wailani:
Co. 2 resumed search of missing boater near area boat ran aground. C-1 expanded aerial search up to 4 miles north of vessel and south to Hilo Bay, up to 2 miles offshore. Dive operations was expanded north of vessel to Onomea Bay and south to Papaikou Point, up to 200 yds. offshore. All search efforts with negative findings.
The fire department says search efforts has been terminated unless further developments arise.