Coast Guard suspends search for possible mariners in distress off Kona Coast

KAILUA-KONA — The Coast Guard has suspended the search for a possible boater in distress near Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport at Keahole pending further developments.

After approximately eight hours of searching following a received mayday call, the case was suspended Saturday night after no signs of boaters in distress and no reports of overdue swimmers or boaters in the area, according to the Coast Guard.

At approximately 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Sector Honolulu watchstanders received a mayday call over channel 16 and used the Rescue 21 system to track the location of the call to approximately 4 miles northwest of North Kona airport.

The search was conducted by the Coast Guard, local emergency services and units involved in the Rim of the Pacific exercises off of Hawaii. Involved in the search were an MH-Dolphin helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point; the Coast Guard Gutter Joseph Gerzcak; a Hawaii County Fire Department helicopter; U.S. Nacy P-3 Orion aircrew and the crew of the Royal Australian Navy HMAS Success (OR 304).

Anyone with information regarding the mayday call is asked to contact the Sector Honolulu command center at 842-2600.

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