Body of missing diver recovered off Kailua

KAILUA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The body of a missing free diver was recovered Sunday morning in Kailua Bay. The Honolulu Fire Department said the body was that of Christopher Nee, 50.

According to authorities, Nee and a dive partner left Kaimalino Beach at about 4 p.m. to go free diving. They apparently became separated, and when the other diver emerged from the water at 6 p.m., the planned end of the dive, he saw Nee's car still parked on the street.

"He did some searching on his own, he tried to find out if he had gone home, and failing any discovery he called 911," said Capt. Terry Seelig of the Honolulu Fire Department.

The department and the Coast Guard immediately began searching shortly after getting the call at 9:45 p.m. Saturday. The search ended at 10:30 a.m. Sunday when Nee's body was discovered.

"It was Ocean Safety, with a Jet Ski from Kailua Bay, directed by our helicopter, as well as our Jet Ski, that converged upon where we found the diver," said Seelig. "He was in about 10 to 20 feet of water on the bottom, and he was about a quarter-mile, roughly, from Castle Point."

A longtime friend at the scene remembered Nee. "Chris was a Kailua boy, he grew up here. He went to Kamehameha Schools. Was a well known diver and stuff, said Charles Kuahine, who was calling others on his cell phone to tell them the bad news.

"Growing up together, my father took us diving all over the island when he were growing up. We had to do the yard before we went and stuff like that. But he's going to be sorely missed," said Kuahine.

Nee's family and dive partner were among those who went to the scene after his body was found. they declined comment.

The exact cause of death hasn't been determined. But Kuahine said he has an idea. "He had a little bit a heart problem," he said. "He really shouldn't have been diving, but evidently he went."

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