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Coast Guard, partners searching for missing swimmer off Molokai

MH-65 Dolphin helicopter at Air Station Barbers Point, Coast Guard Search Swimmer
A Coast Guard aircrew performs pre-flight checks on an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter at Air Station Barbers Point, Hawaii.
U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Matthew West (archive).

Story by Perry Officer 3rd Class Matthew West.

U.S. Coast Guard District 14 Hawaii Pacific

HONOLULU — The USCG search missing swimmer.

Coast Guard and partners Maui Police Department, U.S. Navy and Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources are searching for Carl Steffler, 66, off of Kaunakakai, Thursday. 

“Mr. Steffler was last seen on security footage swimming 750 yards off the Kaunakakai pier,” said Lt. j.g. Seth Gross, a Sector Honolulu command duty officer. “He is described as being 6 foot 2 inches tall and weighing approximately 210 pounds. Anyone with information is requested to contact us at 808-842-2600.”

An Air Station Barbers Point HC-130 aircraft, Coast Guard Search Swimmer
An Air Station Barbers Point HC-130 aircraft.
U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty Officer Billy Mapakoi (archive).

Currently engaged in the search:

  • An Air Station Barbers Point MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrew
  • The Coast Guard Cutter Oliver Berry (WPC 1124) crew
  • The Coast Guard Cutter Kittiwake (WPB 87316) crew
  • Maui Police and Fire Department ground crews
  • Department of Land and Natural Resources ground crews
  • Jet ski operators from the Maui County Fire Department
  • Maui County divers
  • Maui County Fire Department Air 1 helicopter aircrew
  • An Air Station Barbers Point HC-130 Hercules aircrew (scheduled)
  • A Coast Guard Air Auxiliary pilot
  • A Navy Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 37 MH-60R Seahawk helicopter aircrews (scheduled)
An MH-60R Seahawk assigned to the “Easyriders” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 37, Coast Guard Search Swimmer
An U.S. Navy MH-60R Seahawk assigned to the “Easyriders” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 37.
U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Bryan Niegel (archive).
The Coast Guard Cutter Oliver Berry (WPC 1124),
The Coast Guard Cutter Oliver Berry (WPC 1124)
U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Matthew West (archive).
The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Kittiwake, an 87-foot Coastal Patrol Boat.
U.S. Coast Guard Photo/PA3 Luke Clayton (archive).

At 10:30 p.m., Thursday, Sector Honolulu watchstanders received a report from the Maui Police Department stating Steffler’s belongings were found on the Kaunakakai pier. Upon reviewing security footage from the area, Maui County Police officers reportedly saw Steffler swimming offshore but not returning and deployed teams to search the area. 

Sector Honolulu watchstanders issued an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast Notice to mariners and deployed asset crews to assist. 

The weather on scene is winds of 17 mph and seas up to 6 feet.

-USCG-

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