(BIVN) – The search for a man who was swept offshore while he was harvesting opihi on the Hāmākua Coast was suspended on Sunday, the U.S. Coast Guard reported.
“We extend our condolences to his friends and loved ones during this trying time,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Casey Connors, a Sector Honolulu watchstander. “Working with the Hawaii County Fire Department, our crews conducted 40 searches covering over 2,011 square miles. There has been no sign of the missing person, and we suspended our search tonight at sunset pending further information.”
The 40-year-old man was picking opihi with another friend on Thursday when they both were swept offshore by a wave. “One of them managed to swim back to shore and made contact with their friends who were searching for them when they failed to return by a set time,” the USCG explained.
The Hawaiʻi County Fire Department deployed ground crews to the the shore-line in an attempt to find the man, while other Coast Guard and Hawaii County Fire Department crews used helicopters and cutters to search the sea throughout the weekend.
The man was last seen wearing a red long-sleeve shirt with camouflage pants and a black backpack. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Sector Honolulu Command Center at 808-842-2600.