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Search for missing snorkeler off Molokini continues

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 5:57 a.m. HST, Jun 13, 2013

The Coast Guard is continuing to search for a 56-year-old missing snorkeler from Illinois who disappeared Tuesday evening near Molokini Crater.

The Coast Guard said Paul Blackburn was snorkeling near Molokini with his son, and was last seen at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday.

He was wearing a white rash guard and board shorts, but not a lifejacket.

The Coast Guard cutter Ahi and an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Air Station Barbers Point were scheduled to search through Wednesday night.

The search also included a 45-foot Coast Guard response boat from Maui, a Maui County fire helicopter and fireboat, as well as Ocean Safety and Kahoolawe Island Reserve Commission personnel.

After being notified by the sailing vessel Gauguin at 5:51 p.m. Tuesday, the Coast Guard began the search using a helicopter crew until sunset, then a cutter Tuesday night.

The Coast Guard is asking mariners in the area of the crater to keep an eye out for the man, and to report any sightings to the Coast Guard over VHF marine radio channel 16 or to contact the Sector Honolulu Command Center at 842-2600.

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