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Search effort for missing swimmer on Kauai suspended

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                                Jaren Asalele, 19.


    Jaren Asalele, 19.

After a four-day effort, the search for a 19-year-old swimmer who went missing at Kauai’s Kalihiwai Beach has been suspended.

The Kauai Fire Department on Wednesday announced that it has suspended the search for Jaren Asalele, who was last seen Saturday afternoon swimming at the beach.

KFD said Asalele had become distressed while swimming. A family member entered the water and tried to help, but could not locate him after he became submerged and did not resurface.

Kauai firefighters and police, Ocean Safety Bureau officers, the U.S. Coast Guard and volunteers from Kauai Search and Rescue conducted the multi-day search via air, water and land but could not locate Asalele.

“Our hearts go out to Jaren’s family and friends, especially those who have been with us these past few days helping tirelessly in the search,” said KPD’s Investigative Services Bureau Assistant Chief Bryson Ponce in a statement. “These operations are never easy, and we wish the outcome would have turned out differently. But we truly appreciate everyone involved in our attempts to locate and bring Jaren home.”

On Sunday and Monday there were possible, brief sightings of Asalele’s body both deep underwater and on the ocean’s surface, but first responders could not recover Asalele because of limited visibility and rough ocean conditions.

Asalele had resided in American Samoa and was preparing to move to Oahu.

KFD has reported the case as Kauai’s 11th drowning in 2022.

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