Maui News

Molokini Search Suspended for Illinois Man

June 13, 2013, 4:19 PM HST
* Updated June 14, 8:56 AM
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Molokini Crater, photo by Wendy Osher.

Molokini Crater, photo by Wendy Osher.

By Wendy Osher

The search for a snorkeler last seen in waters off of Molokini Island on Tuesday night, has since been suspended as of 1:25 p.m. on Thursday, June 13, officials said.

“After exhaustive efforts searching with the Maui Fire Department, Ocean Safety, and the Kahoʻolawe Island Reserve Commission over the last few days, it’s with a heavy heart that we suspend this search,” said Lieutenant Commander Tim List from the US Coast Guard Sector Honolulu in a statement today.

Lt. Cmdr. List, who also served as the rescue mission coordinator in the search for 56-year-old Paul Balckburn of Illinois said, “Our thoughts and prayers are with the Blackburn family at this difficult time.”

Authorities say Blackburn was snorkeling with his son near Molokini Crater, a popular tourist and visitor destination, when he went missing.

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According to an updated announcement issued by the US Coast Guard, authorities say the agency searched a total of more than 448 square miles of land and sea.

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The Coast Guard was also assisted by personnel from other local agencies that used fire boats, jet skis and helicopters to help in the search.

***Supporting information courtesy US Coast Guard.

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