KAPOHO, Hawaii – The U.S. Coast Guard announced today that it has suspended the search for missing 33-year-old Amber Savant of Kona, who is presumed to have been swept out to sea while free diving near Kapoho Bay over the weekend.
During the search effort, crews recovered a spear-gun, fins, gloves, snorkel, mask, weight belt with knife and five pounds of dive weights from the bay. All were identified as belonging to Savant.
“To suspend an active search and rescue case without definitive resolution is one of the most difficult decisions to make,” said Cmdr. Arex Avanni, deputy commanding officer at Coast Guard Sector Honolulu, in a media release. “We saturated the area in an attempt to locate Ms. Savant, but pending further developments, we have decided to suspend the active search. Our prayers go out to her loved ones.”
The Hawaii County Fire Department said Savant was last seen 150 yards off shore of Champagne Ponds near the outer reef break on Sunday. The day before, a high surf warning was in effect for east facing shores. “Watchstanders at the Sector received a report at 2:52 p.m., Sunday,” reported the Coast Guard, “alerting them to the situation. They immediately launched the Dolphin helicopter crew and issued an urgent marine information broadcast requesting the assistance of any mariners in the area.”
The Coast Guard will assist Hawaii County Fire Department efforts today.