The Hawaii Fire Department (HFD) along with the Hawaii Police Department (HPD) responded to reports of a body found floating in the water offshore of Lokahi Road in Hawi, North Kohala on Sunday Morning (April 7th).
The initial call came in at 10:54 am Sunday Morning (April 7th) and crews from the North Kohala and South Kohala Fire Stations along with Chopper 1 from the Waiakea Fire Station responded to the scene and upon the arrival of crews, witnesses reported seeing the body floating in the water approximately 30 yds offshore of steep sea cliffs near Hanaula Gulch. Once HFD crews arrived on scene, unable to retrieve the body from shore had to utilize Chopper 1 for extrication once it arrived on scene.
As Chopper 1 began an aerial survey of the area and location of the body, they witnessed what appeared to be a large tiger shark in the area and circling the body. In an attempt to put a Fire Rescue Specialist in the Billy Pugh Net to retrieve and recover the body, witnesses reported seeing the body being taken underwater by the tiger shark.
Chopper 1 made another aerial survey of the surrounding waters where the body and the shark were last seen and came up with negative findings. HFD crews ultimately were unable to recover to the body. Belongings were found along the shoreline where the body was discovered and it’s unknown at this time if they belong to the victim and was turned over to HPD for further investigation and notification of next of kin/relatives.