Search suspended for missing Kilauea swimmer

  • Courtesy of Kaua‘i Police Department

    The Kaua‘i Police Department has identified the swimmer who went missing Monday as Kilauea resident Huy Nguyen.

KILAUEA —The search for Huy Nguyen, a Kilauea man who went missing from Rock Quarry Beach (Kahili Beach) this week, was suspended Thursday.

The search-and-rescue mission — a unified effort between Kaua‘i Fire Department, U.S. Coast Guard, KFD’s Ocean Safety Bureau, Kaua‘i Police Department and the state Department of Land and Natural Resources — yielded no signs of Nguyen through three days.

Members of the agencies involved in the search briefed Nguyen’s next of kin Thursday morning.

The 44-year-old went missing Monday night, while swimming with his family. He is known in the community as a small-business owner, soccer player and caring father of three.

Along with his partner Natalie, Nguyen runs a coconut tree cleaning business and sells coconut water at farmers’ markets.

“He was really athletic and fast on his feet, always played pono and was one of the nicest guys I knew,” said Kit Furderer, who played soccer with Nguyen in Hanalei.

Nguyen is the second swimmer to go missing this week, with Matthew Preziose, a 25-year-old visitor from New Jersey, disappearing off the coast of Lumaha‘i Beach last Saturday.

Despite extensive search efforts, Preziose was not located and the search was suspended Tuesday afternoon.

Ocean conditions are often dangerous on the North Shore, especially during the wintertime.

Hawai‘i Beach Safety labeled the conditions at Anahola Beach Park, Hanalei Bay, Ha‘ena Beach Park and Ke‘e Beach as “High Hazard” Thursday afternoon, with beachgoers and surfers encouraged to stay out of the water.

A GoFundMe campaign to support Nguyen’s family has raised $74,561 from 450 individuals by Thursday afternoon.

“Everybody is looking for ways to support a family that has been supporting others for so long,” said Jana Kilgore, who organized the fundraiser.

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