NORTH SHORE (HawaiiNewsNow) - By sunset Thursday night, the U.S. Coast Guard crews will have searched an area up to 20 miles off shore and 35 miles along Oahu's North Shore and beyond.
At dawn, the Honolulu Fire Department's Air One rescue helicopter resumed its aerial search while rescue crews scoured the near shore waters by jet ski and along the beach by foot.
Search efforts started around 9:45 last night when authorities were notified that a 51 year old Robert Rumburg, visiting and staying with a friend in Sunset beach, never came home. His property and rental car were still there and he missed his flight back to the mainland. Rumburg told his friend early yesterday, he planned on going surfing.
The reason authorities are searching the waters off the North Shore is because a surfboard was reported to be recovered and it was identified by the room mate the man was staying with as belonging to her. And she had allowed him to use the board if he wanted.
The surfboard was actually discovered last night," said Captain Terry Seelig of the Honolulu Fire Department. "It was brought to shore by residents down by Rocky Point. And they described it as being off shore, quite a distance. So we're not sure what that means, how far it is, but it's probably within a mile."
But no one can actually say they saw Rumburg in the water.
The Coast Guard says they were told he was an experienced off shore swimmer, but not an experienced surfer.
Still, North Shore residents and surfers, like Derek McMillan, are puzzled because of the low surf conditions.
"It was even pretty calm just like today, said McMillan. "Two feet or less and just really nice. Glassy, smooth. The water was beautiful. I don't understand how he could have trouble in the water, especially with a board."
"We've come out in similar time when it's not very big," said Seelig. "A person can go missing due to a number of reasons. It can be something related to their health, it could be predators in the ocean not just sharks but other types of animals that are out there that could cause a person to go unconscious and missing and never to be found."
In the meantime, Honolulu police have opened a missing person case and are investigating whether Rumburg, who they say was in Hawaii for about two weeks, may have wanted to disappear.