Search suspended for missing Maui snorkeler

Published On: Jun 13 2013 10:48:37 AM HST   Updated On: Jun 13 2013 04:01:51 PM HST
Coast Guard Helicopter

The Coast Guard suspended the search for a missing snorkeler off South Maui Thursday.

The man was identified as 56-year-old Paul Blackburn from Illinois.

Blackburn was snorkeling near Molokini Crater with his son when he went missing.  He was last seen at around 5:30 p.m. Tuesday wearing a white rash guard and board shorts.  He was not wearing a life jacket.

Coast Guard watchstanders in the Sector Honolulu Command Center were initially notified of the situation at approximately 5:51 p.m., Tuesday, by the sailing vessel Gauguin.

The Coast Guard searched with air and sea assets covering more than 448 square miles.  Personnel, fire boats, jet skis and helicopter crews from local agencies contributed to the search.

"After exhaustive efforts searching with the Maui Fire Department, Ocean Safety, and the Kaho'olawe Island Reserve Commission over the last few days, it’s with a heavy heart that we suspend this search," said Lt. Cmdr. Tim List, Sector Honolulu search and rescue mission coordinator.  "Our thoughts and prayers are with the Blackburn family at this difficult time."


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