Teen missing in waters near Kealakekua Bay

Published On: Jul 05 2012 09:14:57 AM HST   Updated On: Jul 05 2012 09:50:53 PM HST

The Coast Guard and the Hawaii County Fire Department were continuing their search Thursday for a 15-year-old boy last seen with a hiking group at the Captain Cook monument in the vicinity of Kealakekua Bay on the Big Island.

The missing boy was identified by the Coast Guard as Tyler Madoff from White Plains, N.Y.

According to the Hawaii County Fire Department, a group of 12 to 14 students from the U.S. East Coast, all under the age of 18, went on a guided kayak tour on Wednesday.

The group landed near the monument.  Some stopped at the tide pools, including Madoff.

Two boys were swept in the ocean by large waves at around 2:45 p.m. on Wednesday.

Ocean conditions had an occasional southwest swell at approximately 4-to-5-feet-tall.

Barry Mims , the owner of Hawaii Pack and Paddle said the group was at the end of the excursion when a freak wave rolled over a 15 foot wall and swept 30 feet inland.

Mims said his tour guides who are both lifeguard and CPR certified, rescued a number of the campers but could not get to everybody.

"They were a group young ladies who had cuts and bruises but it was minor," said Napoopoo Rufus Duarte.

A 15-year-old boy was picked up by a private boat and brought to the Kealakekua Bay boat loading area.  He was transported to the Kona Community Hospital in critical condition.  The boy was  later flown to Queen's Medical Center in Honolulu.

Two fire helicopters and a rescue boat with three divers searched the area in front of the lighthouse and in surrounding areas.

A Coast Guard Cutter and helicopter were also sent to the scene.

Divers found two t-shirts and a blue rope.

Tyler's father asked local residents with personal boats to help with the search.

"It is real solemn out at the bay as well. They are not putting as many boats in the water. They are kind of low-key today,” said Napoopoo resident Gary Diamond.

Hawaii Pack and Paddle cancelled all its tours to help out with the search today.

Mims said he has worked with the East Coast tour company for the past 15 years, and extended  his condolences to the families.


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