Missing Paddleboarder Found Off Ewa Beach, Oahu

Emergency responders from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point pose with Neil Bode, the rescued paddleboarder who spent 15 hours overnight at sea. Photo: U.S. Coast Guard Cmdr. Prince Neal
Emergency responders from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point pose with Neil Bode, the rescued paddleboarder who spent 15 hours overnight at sea. Photo: U.S. Coast Guard Cmdr. Prince Neal

Missing Paddleboarder Found Off Ewa Beach, Oahu

A missing paddleboarder was found alive and well off Ewa Beach, Honolulu, yesterday morning after spending nearly 15 hours at sea.

At about 6:45 a.m., responders from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point found Neil Bode, the 32-year-old visiting from Seattle, around 3.5 nautical miles off the coast of Ewa Beach. A rescue swimmer was deployed and Bode was hoisted safely into the MH-65 Dolphin helicopter and delivered to the hospital, Queen’s Medical Center West.

“He lost his paddle,” Bode’s stepbrother, Joshua Wallace, told SUP the mag. “He was out there all night long, 4 p.m. to 6 a.m. That’s a long time to be out at sea.”

Wallace also said Bode is now “safe and well.” Bode remains in the hospital but is physically stable. Reports say health threats stem more from the effect of spending a night at sea with no food or water than any physical trauma.

“They’re still evaluating him, but he’s doing OK,” said Wallace. “His mom’s in town from Seattle and they’re considering getting him back to the mainland.”

At about 3:45 the day prior, Bode rented a paddleboard and set out from Waikiki Beach. Authorities reported Bode showed signs of emotional distress before paddling out. When he didn’t return the paddleboard at about 5:15 p.m. that evening, the rental company contacted Hawaii Fire Department and reported Bode missing.

If it weren’t for the efforts of the Coast Guard and the Honolulu Fire Department, the outcome may have been tragically different.

“The Coast Guard, in conjunction with the Honolulu Fire Department, did a great job with the total search effort in locating Mr. Bode,” Lt. Patrick Frain, a command duty officer at Coast Guard Sector Honolulu, told Maui TV News. “Once we received notification from the helicopter crew that he was spotted alive, there was immediate celebration in the command center. We notified his family on island right away to share the great news.”

“It was a great coordinated effort by the rescue teams,” said Wallace. “We want to appreciate those guys.”

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