Search suspended after unmanned jet ski located in waters off Kailua-Kona


An unmanned rental personal watercraft located Thursday morning a couple miles offshore of Kailua-Kona prompted a multiagency search effort for a possible missing person.

The U.S. Coast Guard assisted the Hawaii Fire Department with an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter to help locate a possible missing person after a commercial vessel located a blue WaveRunner around 9 a.m. two miles west of Kailua-Kona. The finding of an unmanned vessel normally spurs a search to ensure no one had fallen off, said U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer Eric Chandler.

The jet ski was returned to Kona Jet Ski’s dock, he said. The watercraft was confirmed to belong to the local rental company, which suspects an attempted theft may have occurred, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

Chandler said the search was suspended Thursday afternoon after no signs of a person were found. The U.S. Coast Guard also received no reports of a person missing.