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Search for lost bodysurfer ends

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The Honolulu Fire Department ended a search at 5:15 p.m. yesterday 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 yesterday, 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 searched with boats from Sandy Beach to Diamond Head, expanded its aerial search from Sandy Beach out to Barbers Point and focused on the area between Mau­na­lua Bay and Diamond Head.

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

"He lost his run after the merger," said Sharene Chun, Star-Advertiser home delivery manager. "(Yesterday) 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 suspended its search at 10 p.m. Sunday.

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