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Search ends for missing bodysurfer at Sandy Beach

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The Honolulu Fire Department ended a search at 5:15 p.m. Monday for a 47-year-old Kalama Valley man, who was last seen bodysurfing Thursday morning at Sandy Beach.

Family members of Lance Kaowili had been there since Saturday and remained at Sandy Beach Monday, awaiting word, said fire Capt. Terry Seelig.

That included his brother Ocean Kaowili, a firefighter and a member of Eddie Kamae and the Sons of Hawaii.

"The whole family was saddened by it," Seelig said. "They have a strong close family. It’s hard for anybody. Our hearts go out to them. … It hurts when it’s someone that’s close."

Seelig said the Fire Department had searched with boats from Sandy Beach to Diamond Head and expanded its aerial search from Sandy Beach out to Barbers Point and focused on Maunalua Bay to Diamond Head.

Kaowili worked six years for Oahu Publications, delivering its other publications to rack locations. He also delivered the Star-Bulletin to racks and stores. Oahu Publications now is the parent of the Star-Advertiser.

"He lost his run after the merger," said Sharene Chun, Star-Advertiser home delivery manager. "Today he was supposed to be starting a new project. He was looking forward to that. …He was a really good guy."

Friends of Kaowili, who surfed daily at Sandy Beach, didn’t notify authorities he was missing until Saturday. That’s when the Fire Department and Coast Guard began their search.

The Coast Guard had suspended its search 10 p.m. Sunday.

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