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Mahukona Information Update for June 12th, 2020

United States Coast Guard (USCG) suspends their search for missing free diver 20-year-old Malcolm Davis off of the North Kohala coast.

Published by: HIRSC - Utah (Salt Lake City/St. George) Team

Statement from USCG:

The Coast Guard suspended their active search off Hawaii Island for Malcolm Davis, 20-years-old, Thursday evening.

“We extend our deepest condolences to Malcolm’s family and anyone affected by this tragedy,” said Cmdr. Ben Gates, Sector Honolulu Deputy Commander. “Working with the Hawaii County Fire Department, Navy, and Maui Fire Department our crews conducted 23 searches covering 1,101 square miles with no sign of Malcolm. While it is not an easy decision, we suspended the active search after sunset tonight pending any further new information.”

Davis was last seen Tuesday morning wearing white board shorts with black fins off Mahukona.

Involved in the search were:

- Hawaii County Fire Department Jet ski operators

- A Hawaii County Fire Department Rescue Boat crew

- Two Hawaii County Fire Department Helicopter crews

- Air Station Barbers Point HC-130 Hercules aircrews

- Air Station Barbers Point MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrews

- The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Oliver Berry (WPC 1124)

- Navy MH-60R Seahawk helicopter crew

- Maui Fire Department crews

At 11:33 a.m., Tuesday, Sector Honolulu Command Center received a report from the Hawaii Fire Department dispatch notifying them of the situation.

Upon notification, Sector Honolulu issued an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast notice to mariners and deployed the Coast Guard assets to search the area. Over the following days, both Navy and Maui Fire Department crews joined the Coast Guard and Hawaii Fire Department crews in the search.

The weather on scene Tuesday was light and variable trade winds and seas up to four feet.


The Hawaii Fire Department (HFD) along with the HFD Ocean Safety Lifeguards, Hawaii Police Department (HPD), United States Coast Guard (USCG), and community volunteers continued their search Thursday (June 11th) for a third-day searching for 20-year-old Malcolm Davis, who went missing while free diving off the coast of Mahukona Beach Park Tuesday morning (June 9th).

A Navy MH-60R Seahawk helicopter crew from the Kaneohe Bay-based Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 37 (HSM-37) joined the search Wednesday and a crew from the Maui Fire Department (MFD) joined in the search Thursday morning which included a search of south and southeast shoreline of Maui, after floats deployed from the USCG to collect drift data had been found on the southern shoreline of Maui.

Rescue crews continue to search for Davis, who was last seen at 9:30 am Tuesday morning (June 9th) and was last wearing white board shorts and blackfins in the area of Mahukona Lighthouse. Davis was spearfishing with seven friends when they became separated. After they were unable to find Davis, the friends returned to their car, drove inland, and tried to find cell service to report the situation to HFD and HPD.

Rescue crews and volunteers have searched the North Kohala coastline expanding from Honokoa Gulch to Upolu Point by air, land, and sea. HFD Rescue Dive team conducted an extensive underwater search of the surrounding bay of Mahukona Beach Park and USCG and Navy Resources conducted an aerial and ocean surface search expanding into the Alenuihaha Channel and south/southeast shores of Maui.

Currents Forecast for Hawaii Island at 8:00 am 6/11 (Source: PACIOOS)

The weather on scene is winds of 24 mph and seas up to five feet with a strong Northwest current. A Small Craft Advisory is in effect until 6:00 pm Thursday evening for the search area waters due to the strong trade winds.

As of 6:30 pm Thursday evening, HFD, HPD, and, MFD had suspended their search operations with no signs of Malcolm Davis. It was not immediately disclosed to HIRSC if HFD Rescue crews had plans to continue for a fourth day of searching.

The following resources are involved in the search for Malcolm Davis include:

  • HFD Ocean Safety Jet Ski Team for West Hawaii

  • HFD Rescue Boat 7 from the Kailua Fire Station

  • HFD Chopper 1 (from the Waiakea Fire Station) and Chopper 2 (from the South Kohala Fire Station)

  • An Air Station Barbers Point HC-130 Hercules aircrew

  • An Air Station Barbers Point MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrew

  • Navy MH-60R Seahawk helicopter crew from Kaneohe Bay, Oahu (joined on 6/10)

  • The Crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Oliver Berry (WPC 1124)

  • Maui Fire Department (MFD) Rescue Crews (Joined on 6/11)

USCG requested waterway users in the area to keep a sharp lookout for signs of distress and report any information over VHF Channel 16 or at 808-842-2600.

To view the initial update on this incident, please click here.


In contrary to media reports, initial news reports published/rumors circulated that a body was recovered in the search area, however, it was later discovered the incident was unrelated and had occurred in the South Kona district late Tuesday evening (June 9th). Officials say the search continues.

Please click here to view details on the Honaunau Incident

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