comscore Big Island firefighters recover body of missing swimmer | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
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Big Island firefighters recover body of missing swimmer

Hawaii island firefighters recovered the body of a 50-year-old man this morning after the man disappeared last night while swimming off the southern coast of the island, authorities said.

Firefighters received a call at about 9:50 p.m. Friday about a swimmer in distress off Kamilo Point, a remote area near South Point, accessible only by off-road vehicles, firefighters said.

It took firefighters about two hours to reach the shoreline because of the rough terrain, and arriving firefighters found rough surf along a rocky and jagged shoreline.

The U.S. Coast Guard was also called to assist in the search and dispatched a C-130 Hercules airplane, an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter, and the cutter Kittiwake, said Petty Officer 3rd Class Matthew West.

Firefighters said they initially spotted a dive light about 20 yards from shore that was thought to be the distressed swimmer, but the Coast Guard was able to confirm the light had detached from the swimmer and he could not be found.

Firefighters searched the shoreline while the Coast Guard assisted with an aerial coastline survey, firefighters said.

Firefighters planned to launch a helicopter at first light for an aerial search, but just before daybreak firefighters located the body.

It was taken by fire helicopter to the Naalehu police station where it was released to police.

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