Firefighters and lifeguards recovered the body of a missing freediver today off the coast of Castles Beach in Kailua.
Authorities identified the body as that of 50-year-old Christopher Nee, said Honolulu fire Capt. Terry Seelig.
Nee and a friend had gone freediving off Kapoho Point about 4 p.m. Saturday and planned to be out of the water by 6 p.m., Seelig said.
Nee’s dive partner came out about 6, but couldn’t find Nee and even drove to Nee’s house thinking that he may have gotten a ride home. The man called for help about 9:45 p.m., Seelig said.
About 18 firefighters searched almost two hours Saturday night by helicopter and rescue boat and along the shore before suspending the search because of darkness. The Coast Guard was notified and continued searching overnight.
Nearly 20 firefighters returned this morning about 5:30 a.m. and were later joined by lifeguards.
Lifeguards and firefighters recovered the body from the sea floor about 400 yards from shore after firefighters in a helicopter noticed an unusual shape in the water, Seelig said.
“We recovered the body of the missing diver,” Seelig said. “He was on the bottom in about 20 feet of water. He was brought up unresponsive.”
The body was brought to shore, and Nee was pronounced dead on scene about 10:45 a.m.