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Search resumes for missing diver off Waialae-Kahala

By Gregg Kakesako

LAST UPDATED: 12:23 p.m. HST, Aug 30, 2011

Coast Guard and Honolulu Fire Department boats and aircraft continued the search today for a 22-year-old New York state man who went missing during a commercial scuba dive tour Monday about half a mile off Waialae-Kahala.

The man was part of a group of 11 clients on an Island Divers excursion that left Hawaii Kai for a dive near a sunken wreckage.

The search today extended from Koko Head to Diamond Head. HFD was concentrating in the area within three miles of shore. The Coast Guard had its HC-130 aircraft helicopter, the 87-foot cutter Kittiwake and 45-foot rescue boat covering the area up to 10 miles out.

The Coast Guard said winds in the area were 10 to 15 knots, with the seas measuring from 3 to 5 feet. Visibility was between 7 to 10 miles.

The search closer to the beach was hampered by high surf, said HFD spokesman Capt. Terry Seelig.

The rough surf also meant that the HFD helicopter had to be diverted from the search to help in rescue attempts off Waikiki, Wailupe and Hanauma Bay, he said. No one was injured in those three cases.

The Coast Guard and HFD will reassess the situation at the end of the day. The fire department has committed one helicopter and rescue boat to the search efforts as well as firefighters who searched beaches in the area.

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