Search for missing diver ends after body recovered near Nawiliwili

Harold “JJ” Jackson

The Coast Guard’s search for a missing diver ended Friday when a body was located 23 miles southeast of Nawilliwilli.

A commercial tug transiting from Kauai to Oahu noticed a strobe light at 5:20 a.m. Friday, which was attached to JJ Jackson’s bouyancy control device. Jackson was not with the equipment. The location of the dive gear prompted a redirection of assets into a new search area.

At 1:17 p.m., a body fitting the description of Jackson was recovered by a 45-foot response boat from Coast Guard Station Kauai and transported to Nawilliwilli Harbor. The body was turned over to city officials and positive identification is pending.

Harold “JJ” Jackson, 52, had been missing since Monday night.

The Coast Guard launched the search after receiving notice of an overdue diver, last seen at 8:15 p.m. approximately one mile off Makaha Beach Park. Authorities said Jackson and a friend were diving several yards offshore, but at the end of the dive, Jackson could not be located.

“There has been a dive bag that was found and they are concentrating in those areas. We do know that he is an avid shell collector and the purpose of his dive was go collect shells, so they’re going in the areas that we know he was reported to have been, and we’re also following the tide and current charts as well,” said Capt. David Jenkins with the Honolulu Fire Department.

Ocean Safety and Lifeguard Services Division’s rescue watercraft joined in the search around 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, doing a search pattern in the areas between Makaha and Makua Valley.

CrimeStoppers and the Honolulu Police Department issued a missing person alert on Jackson.


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