Search for scuba diver missing off Makaha extended - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Search for scuba diver missing off Makaha extended

Harold "JJ" Jackson Harold "JJ" Jackson
MAKAHA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

The search has spanned 2,900 nautical miles but so far the only sign of JJ Jackson has been a scoop net divers recovered from the ocean floor. 

The search for Jackson was supposed to be called off Thursday evening. 

However Coast Guard officials announced they will continue searching until at least Saturday morning. Optimal search conditions along with the belief that he may still be on the surface of the water prompted the decision to keep looking. 

According to his father-in-law, Jackson had 30-years scuba diving experience and was familiar with the area. He and two friends were searching caves off Makaha beach for specific type of sea shell. It was the third night in a row they had been out there. Coast Guard officials confirmed they have spoken with Jackson's diving partners about what may have gone wrong. 

"They've mentioned a few speculations but I can't really comment on that," said Coast Guard Chief Jarrod Sneller. While volunteers from Jackson's church scoured the coastline, search crews from Honolulu fire department used jet skis and divers to search the area just off shore.

Meantime coast guard crews made the call to expanded their search. "Today we reached out to about 50 miles offshore. We've put out data buoys that help us understand the currents that are happening and those are screening pretty far offshore. Straight over to Kauai," said Chief Sneller. 

Although Jackson would be going on 72 hours without food or water excellent weather conditions may have improved his chance of survival. 

"We feel strongly that he may be floating with all his gear," said Chief Sneller. With the search being extended to five days Coast Guard officials tell me it's the longest since 2013 when a Navy Seal diver went missing.

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