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Puna Information Update # 2 for August 4th, 2020

Body of the missing swimmer recovered offshore of the Maku'u Coastline Tuesday evening (August 4th).

Published by: HIRSC - Hawaii Island (Hilo) Team

The Hawaii Fire Department (HFD), United States Coast Guard (USCG), and the Hawaii Police Department (HPD) confirmed the body of a swimmer reported missing earlier Tuesday afternoon (August 4th) was recovered offshore of the Maku'u Coastline Tuesday evening.

Around 7:10 pm Tuesday evening, HFD rescue crews on Rescue Boat 2 spotted and recovered the body of the male swimmer in the waters off of Maku'u Coastline.

Earlier Tuesday afternoon, all agencies were involved in a search of the surrounding waters and coastline for missing male swimmer, who was last seen by nearby residents along the Maku'u Coastline in distress in the water, yelling for help around 3:20 pm Tuesday afternoon. Residents later lost sight of the male swimmer in the rough ocean conditions.

Sources say that male was picking opihi along the Maku'u Coastline when he swept into the water by a large wave, However, officials were not immediately available to confirm details and say it's currently under investigation and would release further details at a later time.

HPD continues to investigate the incident.


Initial Update on this incident:

The Hawaii Fire Department (HFD) along with the Hawaii Police Department (HPD) and United States Coast Guard (USCG) responded to a report of a missing swimmer offshore of Maku'u Coastline Tuesday afternoon (August 4th).

The initial call came in at 3:23 pm Tuesday afternoon and HFD crews from the Paradise Park and Waiakea Fire Stations (Rescue Company 2) along with Chopper 1, Battalion 1, HPD officers from the Puna Patrol and USCG Dolphin Helicopter from Barbers Point, Oahu responded to the scene at the Maku'u Coastline off of Old Government Beach Road.

Upon the arrival of emergency crews, reports came in from nearby residents reporting a swimmer (described as a male in his 50's) was yelling for help in the waters offshore of Maku'u Coastline. Upon further investigation by the reporting parties, they lost sight of the male swimmer and were awaiting the arrival of emergency crews.

Once emergency crews arrived at the scene, HFD crews immediately began a search of the immediate area by air, land, and sea. Late Tuesday afternoon, USCG Dolphin Helicopter arrived in the area and immediately began aerial search water offshore of Maku'u and Kaloli Point.

HFD crews conducted a search of the surrounding waters till sundown and later suspended their search for the night and expected to return at first light.

USCG crews are expected to continue their search into the evening hours. USCG spokesperson says further information on the swimmer is forthcoming and expected to be released later this evening.

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