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Search for missing swimmer ends

‘ANINI BEACH — An effort to locate a missing swimmer off the North Shore was suspended on Wednesday afternoon following four days of searching the area via air, land and sea.

Prakash Shroff, 56, of Gilroy, California, was reported missing off ‘Anini Beach on Sunday afternoon, the Kaua‘i Police Department said in a statement on Wednesday. Shroff is being listed as the 12th drowning victim on Kaua‘i this year.

“Our hearts go out to Prakash’s family and friends during this difficult time,” said Paul Applegate, captain of the Kaua‘i Police Department’s Investigative Services Bureau, in a statement.

“We appreciate all agencies and everyone involved in our attempt to locate Prakash. We also thank the Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas for allowing our rescuers access to their property during the search.”

Shroff was swimming with two family members shortly after 1 p.m. Sunday when they found themselves in distress. While the two family members were able to make it back to shore with the assistance of bystanders, Shroff could not be located.

The two swimmers, who made it back to shore, were treated by paramedics on-scene and released.

Kaua‘i Fire Department Ocean Safety Bureau lifeguards conducted an initial search of the area, and were then joined by other search and rescue personnel, including members of the Kaua‘i Fire Department, Kaua‘i Police Department and U.S. Coast Guard.

“The Coast Guard continued its search through the night, and all agencies resumed their efforts at first light Monday morning,” the fire department said in a statement on Monday. “Rescuers (reported) low visibility and dangerous conditions, as there (was) a strong current and large surf in surrounding waters.”

The multi-agency search effort continued on Tuesday and Wednesday. State Department of Land and Natural Resources personnel also participated in the search.

Volunteers with the Visitor Aloha Society of Kaua‘i, a nonprofit that provides emergency needs for visitors, and Life’s Bridges, a grief counseling service, assisted Shroff’s family.

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Wyatt Haupt Jr., editor, can be reached at 808-245-0457 or whaupt@thegardenisland.com.
Source: The Garden Island

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