Search For Body Floating in North Kohala Waters Called Off

The Hawai`i County Fire Department responded to the report of a body floating face down in the ocean about 30 yards off shore from a steep cliff northwest of Hanaula Gulch on Sunday.

A Chopper from Waiakea Rescue Station arrived on scene around 11:39 a.m. and observed what appeared to be a large tiger shark circling the body.

Fire officials say attempts were made to recover the body using the Billy Pugh net but due to the position of the body, they were unsuccessful.

In the process of putting a Fire Rescue Specialist in the Billy Pugh net to recover the body, a bystander reported that a shark had submerged the body and it was no longer visible.

The Rescue Chopper continued to do aireal search but was unable to locate or saw no signs of the body, but continued areial search operations until stood down by the Hawai`i Police Department who were also on scene.

HPD believes to have recovered belongings and a backpack of the victim on the top of the cliff, and are in the process of notifiing next of kin.