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

Body recovered after rescue fails

Advertiser Staff

The body of a boater was recovered in Kāne'ohe yesterday afternoon, more than 18 hours after rescuers spotted the man but were unable to help him due to high surf.

The identity of the man, believed to be in his 30s, was determined last night 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 near Marine Corps Base Hawaii at Kāne'ohe Bay.

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

Marine Corps Base Hawaii Waterfront Operations, Marine Corps Air Station Kane'ohe Bay Crash Fire Rescue and federal firefighters were dispatched to the area.

Military police and Crash Fire Rescue personnel spotted the man floating on a small, yellow craft but were unable to assist him due to high surf that had forced the cancellation of a surf contest earlier in the day, according to a Marine Corps Base Hawaii news release.

Rescuers lost sight of the man about 50 yards off shore 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.

Rescue crews from the Honolulu Fire Department and Waterfront Operations continued to look for the man until the search was suspended due to darkness.

Crews from U.S. Coast Guard District 14 and HFD conducted an aerial search through the night but could not regain sight of the man.

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 yesterday at daybreak. Marine lifeguards eventually found and recovered the body around 1:40 p.m.