Coast Guard suspends search for missing Molokini snorkeler

Source: Flickr User Laura D.C.
Source: Flickr User Laura D.C.

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Coast Guard has suspended a search for a snorkeler last seen near Molokini Crater Tuesday evening.

Paul Blackburn, 56,  from Illinois, was snorkeling near Molokini Crater with his son when he went missing. He was last seen at approximately 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday. Coast Guard watchstanders in the Sector Honolulu Command Center were notified of the situation around 5:51 p.m., Tuesday.

The Coast Guard searched with air and sea assets covering more than 448 square miles. Personnel, fire boats, jet skis and helicopter crews from local agencies contributed to the search.

"After exhaustive efforts searching with the Maui Fire Department, Ocean Safety, and the Kahoʻolawe Island Reserve Commission over the last few days, it's with a heavy heart that we suspend this search," said Lt. Cmdr. Tim List, Sector Honolulu search and rescue mission coordinator. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the Blackburn family at this difficult time."

Mariners in the area of the Molokini Crater should continue to report any sightings to the Coast Guard over VHF marine radio channel 16 or to contact the Sector Honolulu Command Center at (808) 842-2600.

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