Second day of search finds no sign of missing diver; Coast Guard suspends operations


A second day of searching Saturday turned up no sign of a man missing while reportedly diving Wednesday in waters off Puuhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park in South Kona.

Kealakekua resident Jeremiah Nathan, 42, was reported missing about 8:30 p.m. Thursday, shortly after a friend located Nathan’s pickup truck at the park entrance, according to the Hawaii Fire Department and Hawaii Police Department. Nathan apparently failed to return to the friend’s home Wednesday evening and also did not board an 8 a.m. flight to California.

Nathan’s wallet, keys and cellphone were found inside the cab, but fire personnel and police were unable to locate his dive gear. A park employee reported seeing the man about 4 p.m. walking in a wetsuit and carrying dive gear. He was said to have gone diving and spear fishing at “two step.”

Police said Nathan is Caucasian, 5 feet 10 inches tall, weighing 150 pounds, with green eyes and short brown hair. He also has a tattoo across his chest with Arabic-type lettering.

Search efforts by the fire department have included aerial and ground surveys extending 2 miles north and south of the park and one-quarter-mile offshore. Saturday, crews limited dive and surface operations to about 1 mile north and south of the park after receiving data from drift buoys deployed by the U.S. Coast Guard.

The U.S. Coast Guard 110-foot Cutter Kiska and an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter assisted in the search on Friday and again on Saturday, with the assistance of a Coast Guard Auxiliary plane, until suspending its search operations at 11:30 a.m., according to the Coast Guard District 14 office in Honolulu. The Coast Guard search covered a 900-square-mile area off the South Kona coast.

Search efforts by the Hawaii Fire Department will resume at first light today. The search was expected to last through today.

Anyone with information on Nathan’s whereabouts should call Officer Bradden Kimura at 326-4646, ext. 253, or the department’s nonemergency line at 935-3311. Those who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 329-8181 in Kona or 961-8300 in Hilo. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.