Hawaii County rescue crews will resume searching this morning for a 15-year-old New York boy who was reportedly swept from the shoreline Wednesday afternoon in the vicinity of Kealakekua Bay.
Hawaii Fire Department officials suspended their more than 30-hour search for Tyler Madoff, of White Plains, late Saturday afternoon, said West Hawaii Battalion Chief Steve Loyola. It was set to resume at first light today following the approval of a request by Madoff’s family to extend the search one day beyond the department’s three-day standard.
Saturday, a half-dozen divers spent the day searching the bay and a two-mile area around it for the boy, who went missing about 3 p.m. Wednesday when large waves swept him and another 15-year-old boy into the water near the Kaawaloa lighthouse, which is located in a remote area on the northern edge of Kealakekua Bay. The boys were part of a youth group visiting from New York taking part in a kayaking and hiking tour.
Despite days of searching, no sign of the boy had been found as of press time Saturday, Loyola said. Divers were also assisted Saturday with U.S. Coast Guard equipment to help determine the direction currents are traveling, he said.
The only items that have been found since Madoff went missing on Wednesday were two T-shirts and a blue rope, according to the fire department.
The U.S. Coast Guard in Honolulu, which provided an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter and the 87-foot Coast Guard Cutter Ahi to assist in the search, suspended search operations at sunset Thursday pending any new developments, U.S. Coast Guard District 14 Petty Officer 3rd Class Anthony Soto said.
The search effort has covered a 185-square-mile-plus area extending 11 miles from shore, Soto said. Hawaii Fire Department personnel have spent day after day diving in the water, as well as scanning the area from above using a county helicopter.
The second 15-year-old boy was picked up shortly after the incident by passing boats. Though the fire department initially listed the injured boy as being 14, the Hawaii Police Department has since identified him as being 15.
The injured boy was transported in critical condition to Kona Community Hospital and later taken to the Queen’s Medical Center on Oahu for further care, according to police. No update was available on his condition.