Coast Guard searching for missing snorkeler off Maui

56-year-old snorkeler went missing near Molokini Island after he was seen struggling to swim

Published  6:46 AM HST Jun 12, 2013
HONOLULU -

The Coast Guard is searching for a snorkeler who went missing near Molokini Island off South Maui Tuesday evening. 

Coast Guard watchstanders in the Sector Honolulu Command Center were notified of the situation at approximately 5:51 p.m., Tuesday, by the sailing vessel Gauguin. The 56-year-old man was snorkeling near Molokini and went missing after he was seen struggling to swim.

The man was last seen at approximately 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday wearing a white rash guard, board shorts. He was not wearing a lifejacket.

A 45-foot Response Boat Medium crew from Coast Guard Station Maui in Maalaea Harbor was diverted from a training mission to begin a search. The Maui County Fire Air 1 helicopter assisted in the search until sunset and an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Air Station Barbers Point was also launched to search. The Coast Guard Cutter Ahi is en route to join the search.

The Coast Guard is asking mariners in the area of the Molokini Crater to keep a sharp eye out for the man and to report any sightings to the Coast Guard over VHF marine radio channel 16 or to contact the Sector Honolulu Command Center at (808) 842-2600.

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