Missing Snorkler Makes It Back to Shore 12/20/99

HAWAII COUNTY POLICE DEPARTMENT
NORTH KOHALA PATROL DISTRIC
SERGEANT DELPHINE W. SOARES JR.
PHONE; 889-6540
DECEMBER 20, 1998
G-14697

MEDIA RELEASE UPDATE

A snorkler reported missing Sunday evening (December 19, 1999) in waters off Kapaa Beach Park made it safely back to shore at Mahukona Beach Park in North Kohala after being swept out to sea and swimming for several hours.

Ivan Esterle, 45, of Ainakea, North Kohala, had gone to Kapaa Beach Park about 4 p.m. for a half-hour of snorkeling in the bay while his wife, Cynthia, 44, waited in their car at the park.

While snorkeling, Esterle was swept out to sea. When he failed to return by dark, his wife became concerned and called police about 6 p.m.

A search assisted by two helicopters and a Kona fire rescue boat between Kapaa and Mahukona Beach Parks was conducted, but suspended at 9:45 p.m. after it failed to turn up any trace of the snorkler.

After being swept out to sea, however, Esterle managed to stay afloat and reached shore in good condition about midnight Monday at Mahukona, about one and a half miles from Kapaa.

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