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Coast Guard suspends search for missing paddler off Honaunau Beach

Coast Guard and partners searching for missing paddler off Hawaii Island.
Coast Guard and partners searching for missing paddler off Hawaii Island.(Benjamin Agdeppa)
Published: Jun. 8, 2021 at 5:20 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The U.S. Coast Guard on Monday suspended its search for a missing paddler off Honaunau Beach.

Authorities identified the paddler as 66-year-old Michael Kitagawachi, of Kailua-Kona.

Kitagawachi was reported missing after a fisherman found his 15-foot, teal-colored canoe a mile off the coast on Friday.

His vehicle was also found at the beach with his phone inside.

According to officials, Kitagawachi would frequently paddle at this beach.

“Since Saturday our crews have worked closely with the Hawaii County Fire Department covering over 749 square nautical miles during 59 search hours,” said Darin McCracken, a search and rescue planner with Sector Honolulu.

“During that time there has been no sign of Mr. Kitagawachi. While it is a difficult decision to make, we suspended the search after sunset today pending new information.”

The Coast Guard, U.S. Navy, Hawaii County firefighters and private boats helped search for the Kailua-Kona man.

The weather at the time he was reported missing was seas less than 1 foot and light and variable winds.

Officials described the missing paddler as being 5′8″, weighing 150 pounds and was last seen wearing a white long sleeve rash guard and black board shorts.

No foul play is suspected.

If you have information, contact the Coast Guard Sector Honolulu command center at 808-842-2600.

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