HFD extends search for missing freediver another day

  • Hermogila was last seen about 11 p.m. Monday by family while camping at “Mosquito Bay,” which is located makai of mile marker 8 on Akoni Pule Highway, according to the Hawaii Fire Department. He reportedly had gone diving for lobsters the night before off Black Point, a popular dive spot south of Malae Point, but had not returned, according to the Coast Guard. (Google Maps/Special to West Hawaii Today)

KAILUA-KONA — The Hawaii Fire Department’s search for a missing 44-year-old freediver in waters off North Kohala has been extended through Friday.

The decision was made Thursday following a third day of searching for Guy Hermogila that turned up no sign of the missing man, said West Hawaii Battalion Chief Chad Tamanaha. HFD personnel will resume at first light Friday ground search and dive operations.

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“If we find anything else, we may extend another day,” Tamanaha said Thursday evening after search operations had wrapped up for the day. The Hawaii Fire Department typically conducts a three-day search for missing persons.

Hermogila was last seen about 11 p.m. Monday by family while camping at “Mosquito Bay,” which is located makai of mile marker 8 on Akoni Pule Highway, according to the Hawaii Fire Department. He was reported missing Tuesday morning.

Hermogila reportedly had gone diving for lobsters the night before off Black Point, a popular dive spot south of Malae Point, but had not returned, according to the Coast Guard.

The man’s dive float was found in the water yards offshore, and some equipment was located on the beach, however, the rest of his gear remained missing, according to the fire department and Coast Guard.

The search extends from Red Hill in North Kohala to Kawaihae in South Kohala. The U.S. Coast Guard assisted through Thursday with an MH-Dolphin helicopter and Cutter Joseph Gerczak.

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The Coast Guard terminated its efforts in the search at sundown Thursday pending any new information, said Petty Officer 3rd Class Amanda Wyrick.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Sector Honolulu Command Center at 842-2600.