Coast Guard, HFD search for missing paddler

The Coast Guard and Hawaii County Fire Department on Saturday were searching for a missing paddler after his canoe was found adrift 1 mile off Honaunau Beach.

The 66-year-old paddler is described as being 5 feet, 8 inches tall, weighing 155 pounds and was last seen wearing a white long sleeve rash guard and black board shorts. Waterway users in the area are asked to keep a sharp lookout for signs of distress and anyone with information is requested to contact the Coast Guard Sector Honolulu command center at 808-842-2600.

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At 10:35 a.m., Sector Honolulu watchstanders received a report from the Hawaii County Fire Department stating a good Samaritan found a canoe adrift off shore.

It was discovered to belong to the paddler who regularly takes his canoe out nearby. His car was found at the beach with his phone inside.

Watchstanders issued an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast notice to mariners, launched Air Station Barbers Point HC-130 Hercules and MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrews and diverted the Coast Guard Cutter William Hart (WPC 1134) to conduct searches of the area.

Hawaii County Fire Department also deployed ground crews, a helicopter crew, and a boat crew in response.

Good Samaritans aboard recreational vessels are also assisting with the search.

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The weather on scene is seas less than 1 foot with light and variable winds.

The Coast Guard said the search would continue overnight Saturday if necessary.