One opihi picker swept to sea, another rescued in Hamakua

HILO — Rescuers are searching Friday for a missing opihi picker swept out to sea by high surf Thursday from the cliffs at Haina near Honokaa.

According to a written Fire Department statement, the alarm was sounded at 6:36 p.m. Thursday with the first unit on scene about 45 minutes later.

County rescuers, including both helicopters, are being assisted by the Coast Guard, including a cutter, helicopter and C-130 aircraft. The search, which was conducted after dark with lights, cameras and infrared sensors, was hampered by both the lack of light and 15-foot surf.

Another man was found along the rocky shoreline at the bottom of a 60-foot cliff and rescued by fire personnel. He was uninjured.

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