Search for missing freediver enters third 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. (Google Maps/Special to West Hawaii Today)

KAILUA-KONA — A second day of searching for missing freediver Guy Hermogila in waters off the North Kohala coast failed to turn up any sign of the 44-year-old man.

Though the Hawaii Fire Department paused search operations at sundown Wednesday and a U.S. Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter was due to return around 11 p.m. to Oahu, Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Gerczak was to remain on scene, scouring the waters for Hermogila throughout the night, said Petty Officer 3rd Class Amanda Wyrick.

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The fire department and Coast Guard helicopter will resume searching at first light today.

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.

On Wednesday, Hawaii Fire Department personnel utilized Jet Skis to conduct a coastline search spanning from Kawaihae to the Red Hill area and offshore about 1/2 mile, said West Hawaii Battalion Chief John Whitman. Divers, meanwhile, searched the coastline underwater to about 1 mile south of the man’s last known whereabouts.

Whitman said conditions Wednesday were good for the search with little surf or wind hampering the effort. Despite that, no sign of Hermogila was found.

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“We’ll be resuming the search at first light tomorrow,” he said Wednesday afternoon.

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