Rescuers in Hawaii call off recovery for a body pulled down by a shark

An unknown person's body has been claimed by a shark off the coast of Hawaii. (Source: Hawaii News Now/Gray News)
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HAWI, HI (HawaiiNewsNow/Gray News) - Hawaii County Fire officials are no longer searching for a body that was spotted in the waters off Hawi on Hawaii Island Sunday.

The body was initially reported floating about 30 yards from shore from a steep cliff in North Kohala, half a mile northwest to the end of Lokahi Road.

Hawaii County fire officials say a chopper from the Waiakea Rescue Station arrived on the scene and observed what appeared to be a “large tiger shark circling the body.”

Rescuers made various attempts to retrieve the body with a Billy Pugh net, but they were ultimately unable to do so.

“In the process of putting a Fire Rescue Specialist in the Billy Pugh net to recover the body, a bystander reported that a shark had submerged the body and it was no longer visible,” the county fire department said in a news release.

Aerial searches were conducted for a short time after until they were called off by the afternoon.

Officials added that they believe to have recovered the belongings of the victim on the cliff near the area.

They are working to contact the next of kin. An identity has not been released.

This story will be updated.

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