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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, March 7, 2010

Marines have not yet released identity of drowned boater

Advertiser Staff

A boater whose body was recovered in waters off of Pyramid Rock Beach near Marine Corps Base Hawaii on Saturday was not a military member and his identity will be released after next of kin are notified, the Marines said.

The body was recovered in Kaneohe Saturday afternoon more than 18 hours after rescuers spotted the man but were unable to help him because of high surf.

The identity of the man, believed to be in his 30s, was determined but was not released pending notification of family, officials said. His body was found and recovered in waters about 20 yards off Pyramid Rock Beach.

The drama began at approximately 6:20 p.m. Friday, when personnel at the Marine Corps Air Station Kaneohe Bay tower spotted flares near a runway adjacent to the beach and alerted military police.

Marine rescue units and federal firefighters were dispatched. Rescue personnel spotted the man floating on a small, yellow craft but were unable to help due to high surf that had forced the cancellation of a surf contest earlier in the day, according to a news release.

Rescuers lost sight of the man about 50 yards offshore around 7 p.m. Shortly afterward, military police recovered a life raft from the beach, along with a flare gun and a small, waterproof box.

Aircraft from U.S. Coast Guard District 14 and HFD conducted an aerial search through the night. Military police foot patrols also searched unsuccessfully through the night at Pyramid Rock, Hale Koa and North beaches.

A full search, which included an HFD rescue craft and rescue divers, resumed Saturday at daybreak. Marine lifeguards recovered the body around 1:40 p.m.