Missing Swimmer Safe on Maui, Search Called Off
The search for a woman reported missing on Thursday evening, has since been called off after the woman was found to be safe on Friday afternoon.
Officials with the US Coast Guard say Emily Walton called the command center to report herself on land on Friday afternoon. Maui police then made contact with her on land, and verified she was who she claimed to be.
Walton was reported missing by her boyfriend on Thursday evening at Cove Beach Park in Kihei. The man told authorities that he was with her at the beach from 4:30 to 5 p.m. and left for a period of time, but when he returned, he found some of her belongings still on the beach, but she was missing, as well as her phone.
The 9-1-1 call prompted watchstanders to issue an urgent marine information broadcast requesting the assistance of mariners in the area and to direct the launch of a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium boatcrew from Coast Guard Station Maui.
“This is the best possible scenario and we are glad Ms. Walton is safe, ” said Petty Officer 1st Class William Cusic, a watchstander at the Coast Guard Sector Honolulu command center. “We were not certain she was in the water, but there was as strong possibility and we take every case seriously. We recommend all waterway users leave word with family or friends of their plans including their intended return.”
The RB-M crew searched the area for approximately two hours Thursday. An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point conducted a first light search of the surrounding area Friday. The Coast Guard Cutter Kittiwake (WPB 87316), homeported in Honolulu, also launched to assist in the search but was stood down once Walton was located.