Coast Guard and fire officials have been searching 185 square miles for Tyler Madoff, a student at Scarsdale High School. He went missing off Kealakekua Bay on the southern coast of the Big Island Wednesday afternoon, officials said.
He and another 14-year-old boy were apparently washed out to sea while taking a break from a guided kayak tour with 11 other teens and two counselors. An official said the two stopped to explore a tidal pool and were hit by high surf.
“They were hiking on the trail. They were 30 feet inside of the trail. A wave just came up and just picked this group up. Just a freak set. A tragedy,” witness Rufus Duarte told Hawaii News Now.
The owner of the kayak company told the Hawaii news station that the guides jumped in to save boys, but couldn’t reach Tyler. A passing boat picked up the other teen who is in critical condition at the hospital.
In a statement, Tyler’s family said Friday that they are grateful for the public’s support and prayers, but requested privacy.
In addition to rescue boats, helicopters and divers, the Coast Guard said good Samaritans have joined the search effort using their personal boats.
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