On Monday, October 11, 2021, the Honolulu Fire Department (HFD) received a 911 call at 3:48 p.m. for a missing swimmer near the lighthouse side of Makapuu Beach Park. Five resource units staffed with approximately 17 personnel responded to this emergency. The first HFD unit arrived at the scene at 3:58 p.m. and confirmed that two Ocean Safety
(OS) personnel were already in the water conducting a search for the missing 24-year-old male, who was described as a moderate swimmer. Reportedly the male, wearing a black rash guard and blue striped shorts, was climbing on the rocks when a wave swept him into the water. He was briefly seen 100 feet from shore shortly after being swept into the rough water, but was not located for approximately 10 minutes after that initial sighting.
High wave conditions along with strong currents made the search operation challenging. The HFD and OS units coordinated their efforts and concentrated search patterns along the shoreline between Makapuu Beach Park and Makapuu Point. This included HFD’s Rescue 1 that inserted two divers with SCUBA gear to search from Makapuu Point back to Makapuu Beach Park. This was done multiple times to make the best use of waning daylight. Air 3 with an onboard rescue personnel provided aerial surveillance and support for the search.
The search for the missing swimmer was terminated at 6:16 p.m. due to lack of daylight and is scheduled to resume tomorrow, October 12, 2021, at first light.