Rescuers abort kayak search
POIPU, Kauai » A kayaker remained missing and a diver was in critical condition late yesterday afternoon after a tragic weekend on Kauai's South Shore.
At least 25 lifeguards, firefighters and others searched this weekend for missing kayaker Cory German, 36, but had to break off their search on consecutive days because of other water-related accidents just a few miles away.
While German's wife, Tina, 36, remains in Wilcox Hospital after suffering injuries when their kayak flipped Saturday afternoon, the rescue teams called off the active search for him yesterday afternoon, county officials said.
German's loss was compounded by a kite surfer's drowning and an accident to a scuba diver all within five miles of each other.
Fire Chief Robert Westerman called the situation unusual but coincidental.
The blustery tradewinds brought choppy conditions for rescuers all weekend but also were the reason kite surfer Irving Corbett was out surfing Mahaulepu.
The weather likely had no effect on the diver's injuries.
"It would be nice to say, 'This is the reason,' and avoid that next time," Westerman added, but it does not seem to be the case.
On Saturday, Corbett, 50, of Kalaheo, had been kite surfing at Mahaulepu Beach when he was found on the beach unresponsive. He was pronounced dead at Wilcox Hospital.
On Sunday a 69-year-old novice diver from Hugo, Minn., was rescued from the popular dive spot at Koloa Landing after she was found to be having trouble.
The woman, whom police did not publicly identify because her family had not been notified, remains in critical condition at Wilcox Hospital, county public information officer Mary Daubert said yesterday.
Rescue teams -- on jet skis, by land and in a helicopter -- combed the area for three days looking for German but went into "passive search mode" yesterday afternoon, Daubert said.
German's wife is still at Wilcox Hospital and "is pretty distraught," said Ray Heitzman, a business colleague and friend of German's. "She has no family out here."
According to Heitzman, German, "in great shape" and a certified scuba diver, was an outgoing, lighthearted guy who made friends easily.