Washington man still missing

The search for a swimmer reported missing Sunday evening off Larsen’s Beach stretched into its second day as Coast Guard and county rescuers continued scanning the waters off Kilauea Point last night.

Coast Guard Petty Officer Luke Clayton said a HH-65 Dolphin rescue helicopter and a C-130 search plane planned on searching into the night again for Roy Overstreet, 42, of Bellingham, Wash.

According to Clayton, the Coast Guard follows the ocean’s drift patterns for a search of this nature. He said the plan would be reassessed this morning, barring a rescue or recovery in the meantime.

“We do plan on searching through the night,” Clayton said.

County firefighters resumed their search at 8 a.m. yesterday, having stopped the night before at 7 p.m.

Inter-Island helicopter Air-1 assisted in the county effort, according to county spokeswoman Mary Daubert.

Overstreet and his wife, Cara Jaye, also 42, were swept out to sea at about 5:45 p.m. Sunday, Daubert said.

A beach-goer who witnessed the distressed swimmers went to their rescue, but he, too, got caught in the current.

Kapahi resident Michael Ancharski, 56, was pulled from the water by Hanalei firefighters in a Zodiac and brought to shore.

Jaye, who reportedly made it to the shore on her own, spent the night at Wilcox Memorial Hospital, according to emergency room physician Dr. Monty Downs.

Downs said the spot where the couple and Good Samaritan got into trouble is notorious for its rip currents and is featured in guide books such as “Kauai Underground Guide” as a hidden spot.

“Larsen’s (Beach) is one of the off-the-beaten-path jewel spots that sounds so appealing to people,” Downs said via e-mail, noting that the majority of the beach is laden with coral that prevents swimming. “There is one short zone with a nice white-sand entry into the ocean, very alluring on a nice sunny day with gentle tradewind breezes. It also happens to be the zone where the entire beach’s very strong rip current is waiting to pull you out to sea.”

But dangerous rip currents can be found at well-populated beaches, too, as evidenced by a near drowning at Kealia Beach the same day.

According to Daubert, a father and son got caught in a rip current about 100 yards from shore Sunday evening — just 30 minutes before the call came through about Overstreet and his wife to the north.

Eyewitnesses Rick and Shari Talley said they heard cries for help while walking along the pedestrian path. By the time they called 911 and reached the shore, 17-year-old surfer Jon Gibb had grabbed his board to help the swimmers: Dan Zeren, of Longmont, Colo., and his 14-year-old son.

Gibb, a Kapahi resident, said he went for the boy first. After bringing him in to shore, he set out for the father, who in the interim had drifted further out.

According to Gibb, the father was “freaking out” and had trouble staying on the surfboard as they paddled in.

“I was starting to get tired because he flipped the board about five or six times,” Gibb said.

That’s when his friend Jonah Aki, who had been surfing, came to help. Together they paddled the man in and met up with rescuers.

In the process, the nose of Aki’s board was broken, which he hopes to repair after raising enough funds.

Daubert said firefighters Sueo Tiga and Stan Koga along with off-duty lifeguard Eugene Ancheta were first on the scene.

Because the incident happened after 5 p.m., there were on lifeguards on duty at the time. Current hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at staffed beaches, but Rick Talley suggested that the county extend those hours during the summer.

Daubert noted that the Fire Department’s Ocean Safety Bureau is considering starting earlier, at 7 a.m., and staying later, until 6 p.m.

• Blake Jones, business reporter, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 251) or bjones@kauaipubco.com.


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