UPDATE (June 29, 2013): According to a Hawaii County Fire Department dispatch issued on Saturday evening: “After 3 day search with aerial, land and dive personnel, male was not found. Per the family, search was to end today if nothing further was found.”
KAWAIHAE, Hawaii – The search for a missing kayak fisherman off Kawaihae will continue at first light Friday morning.
The Hawaii County Fire Department reports that a 66 year old man was “separated from his vessel” in the waters off the Kohala Coast sometime Thursday morning. The fisherman was last seen on his kayak around 10:00 a.m. by boaters in the area. The kayak was later found unoccupied, drifting 300 yards north of the Kawaihae Harbor mouth, 50 yards from shore. A cooler and fishing gear were found, still on board.
The discovery of the lone kayak prompted a coordinated search that involved the fire department, the United States Coast Guard, the Department of Land and Natural Resources, and the Hawaii County Police Department. Land, aerial and dive searches were conducted by Fire and Rescue companies from the South Kohala and Kailua-Kona Fire Stations.
The U.S. Coast Guard will search through the night, according to the fire department. The USGS provided some more info in a media release of their own:
|The missing man is described as being in his 60’s, 6 feet tall, 180 lbs wearing black shorts and a fishing shirt.An MH-65 dolphin helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point was launched to the scene and continues to search in coordination with Hawaii County Fire Department helicopters and boats. The Coast Guard Cutter Kittiwake has been sent to assist with the search from Honolulu.
The Coast Guard is using Self Locating Datum Marker Buoys and the Search and Rescue Optimal Planning System to coordinate the maritime searches. SAROPS was designed to use environmental data to provide the most probable drift of a person in the water or a search object.
The Coast Guard is asking mariners in the area of the Kawaihae and the north west side of Hawaii Island to keep a sharp eye out for the man and to report any sightings to the Coast Guard over VHF marine radio channel 16 or to contact the Sector Honolulu Command Center at (808) 842-2600.