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Shark thwarts efforts to recover body in North Kohala

Firefighters on Sunday morning were not able to recover a body found floating in waters just northwest of Hanalua Gulch in North Kohala.

Hikers in the area reported a body floating facedown about 30 yards offshore of a steep cliff, according to fire officials. A rescue chopper arrived on the scene, and its personnel observed what appeared to be a large tiger shark circling the body. Rescue crews attempted to recover the body using a specialized ocean-rescue net but failed due to the body’s position, fireofficials said. While crews were readying the net, a bystander reported that a shark had submerged the body. The rescuechopper continued to to do an aerial search for the body without success until ordered to stop by police on the scene.

Fire officials arrived at the scene at around 11 a.m. and remained until about 3 p.m.

Personal belongings and a backpack believed to have belonged to the victim were found by police at the top of the cliff, fireofficials said.

Authorities on Sunday evening were notifying next of kin.

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