Officials remain hopeful Navy SEAL will be found

By WILLIAM COLE | The Honolulu Star-Advertiser | Published: February 23, 2013

The search for a Navy SEAL missing at sea expanded northwest of Kaena Point Thursday with no sign of the 34-year-old, the Coast Guard said. Coast Guard C-130 airplanes and MH-65 helicopters, a 45-foot response boat, the 110-foot cutter Kiska and the Navy tug Sea Commando were continuing the search.

The sailor became separated from other members of his command during ocean swim training near Kaena Point on Tuesday afternoon.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the sailor's family, friends and shipmates," said Agnes Tauyan, a spokes­woman for Navy Region Hawaii. "The Navy is deeply appreciative for the help of the U.S. Coast Guard and Hono­lulu Fire Department, and we remain hopeful for a favorable outcome."

The unmarried sailor's family was notified on the mainland, the Navy said.

There were 8- to 9-foot seas and nearly 30 mph winds in the search area Thursday, said Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class Anthony Soto.

Soto said air and surface crews searched more than 1,100 square miles Thursday and more than 4,600 miles total since the search began.

The Navy said the missing man is a first-class petty officer assigned to a Hawaii-based special-warfare unit. An official said 10 sailors were using two rigid-hull inflatable boats during the training.

Navy officials would not name the SEAL or his unit. SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team 1 is the main unit for the commandos in Hawaii, with about 100 SEALs.

The Honolulu Fire Department set up an incident command post at Kaena Point, the Coast Guard said.


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