By CHELSEA JENSEN
On their final day of searching Monday, fire rescue crews yielded no signs of a 15-year-old New York boy who was reportedly swept from the shoreline last week near Kealakekua Bay.
With surf subsiding and conditions not so rough, divers spent the day searching for Tyler Madoff in the bay as well as numerous underwater lava tubes, inlets and features, said Kailua Fire Station Capt. Todd Vincent. One of Hawaii County’s rescue helicopters also took part in the final day of searching, providing an eagle-eye view of the water and land.
The more than five-day search for Madoff, of White Plains, N.Y., was called off late Monday afternoon pending any new developments, according to the department. The search had been extended two days beyond the department’s standard three-day search.
The Hawaii Police Department still has the case listed as a missing persons investigation.
On Sunday, Madoff’s parents Michael and Marianne thanked the Big Island community for its “unrelenting support during this time of sadness” and efforts to locate their son.
“You did much more than your jobs for us. Your kindness and compassion, your tireless efforts will always be remembered,” Michael said. “All of the locals who kayaked and walked the shoreline, searching for our son, we thank you. … You have carried us through this dark time.”
Madoff went missing about 3 p.m. Wednesday when large waves swept him and another 15-year-old boy into the water near the Kaawaloa lighthouse, which is located in a remote area on the northern edge of Kealakekua Bay. The boys were part of a youth group visiting from New York taking part in a kayaking and hiking tour.
The only items that have been found since Madoff went missing on Wednesday were two T-shirts and a blue rope, according to the fire department.
The U.S. Coast Guard in Honolulu, which provided an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter and the 87-foot Coast Guard Cutter Ahi to assist with the search, suspended search operations at sunset Thursday pending any new developments, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. The search effort covered a 185-square-mile-plus area extending 11 miles from shore.
The second 15-year-old boy was picked up shortly after the incident by passing boats. Though the fire department initially listed the injured boy as being 14, the Hawaii Police Department has since identified him as being 15.
The injured boy was transported in critical condition to Kona Community Hospital and later taken to the Queen’s Medical Center on Oahu for further care, according to police. No update was available from the medical center Monday on his condition.
Email Chelsea Jensen at firstname.lastname@example.org.