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Coast Guard, firefighters resume search for man swept off cliff

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 10:20 a.m. HST, Jan 7, 2013

The Coast Guard and the Hawaii County Fire Department resumed their search this morning for a man who was swept off a cliff into rough waters at Kehena Beach in Pahoa.

The search began at about 3 p.m. Sunday and continued until sunset.

According to witnesses, the swimmer, a 30-year-old man with brown hair and beard, weighing between 180 and 220 pounds. was swept off the cliff and into the rough waters at Kehena Beach on the southeast side of the island.

According to a Hawaii County Fire Department report, a surfer attempted to rescue the man but lost him when the man went under the water about 100 yards offshore.

Fire rescue personnel searched the area with a rescue boat, helicopter and divers and were joined by a Coast Guard helicopter and airplane.

The search was suspended at 5:40 p.m. due to poor water visibility and approaching darkness.

Anyone with information about the man’s identity is asked to contact Coast Guard Sector Honolulu Command Center at 842-2600.

A high surf advisory was in effect Sunday for the east-facing shores of all islands. The advisory continues through this afternoon.

Forecasters said strong rip currents and waves are being generated by high winds.

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