Man missing from boat in Wailua

A search was expected to resume along the Wailua River at daybreak this morning for a 58-year-old Kaua’i man, an employee of Kauai Builders, who went missing yesterday afternoon, apparently from a boat he was using to bring coworkers to and from a job site at the Fern Grotto, county officials said.

A Boston Whaler boat was found overturned in the Wailua River at around 3:15 p.m. yesterday, according to a county press release.

The boat was discovered unattended by employees of Smith’s Motor Boat Service during one of their regular runs up the river. Workers from a kayak company who also noticed the capsized boat attempted to search for passengers in the immediate vicinity, the press release states.

A call to 911 brought Kaua’i Fire Department rescue specialists to the scene from the Kapa’a and Lihu’e stations. Upon their arrival, they learned that a local male, 58, who was employed by Kauai Builders, had left the Wailua Marina dock in the Boston Whaler at around 2:30 p.m. to pick up some of his fellow workers who were working on a project at the Fern Grotto, the press release states.

No one had seen him since his departure, the press release states.

Rescue specialists began searching for the missing man in the river. Initially, they started looking in the area around the boat, and later widened their search, the press release states.

They were joined in their efforts by U.S. Coast Guard personnel who arrived in an inflatable boat and a helicopter. After several hours, the search was called off due to darkness, the press release states.

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