Adrift Dive Gear Found off Hoʻokipa, Maui
The Coast Guard is seeking the public’s help in identifying the owner of dive gear found adrift approximately one mile offshore Ho’okipa Beach Park, Maui, on Sunday, Feb. 12, 2017.
The gear includes an orange dive float, dive flag and wooden spear gun.
Maui Fire officials say the speargun was found attached by tag line to an orange dive float with flag. A fresh fish catch was still hanging on the dive float, but no diver was found in the area.
Crews have been checking with beachgoers along the coast from Maliko Bay to the beach fronting Mama’s Fish House but have not been able to locate a vehicle or witnesses who seen a person diving in the area.
Anyone with information that may help identify the owner of the dive float is asked to contact the Coast Guard Sector Honolulu Command Center at (808) 842-2600 or call the Maui Police Department’s non-emergency number, 244-6400 and press “0” at the prompt, for an operator.
Sector Honolulu watchstanders issued an urgent marine information broadcast notice to mariners and launched an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point to search the area.
A helicopter crew from the Maui Fire Department and jet ski crews from Ocean Safety are currently searching the area.
There are currently no reported signs of distress or missing persons in the area.
“The Coast Guard encourages owners who lose their water craft and dive gear to report it to the Coast Guard with a good description so that we can eliminate any unnecessary searches,” said Charles Turner, a search and rescue coordinator at the Sector Honolulu command center.
The Coast Guard offers free “If Found” decals to be placed in a visible location on small, human-powered watercraft through the Operation Paddle Smart program. The information on the sticker can allow response entities to quickly identify the vessel’s owner and aid search and rescue planners in determining the best course of action.
The stickers can be obtained for free at local harbormasters, through the Coast Guard Auxiliary, from Honolulu Sail and Power Squadron offices and at select marine retail and supply stores.