NORTH KOHALA — Big Island firefighters could not recover a body floating offshore because a shark pulled it underwater on Sunday, emergency officials said.
Hawaii County Police planned to notify the victim's family Sunday night after they recovered a backpack and belongings at the top of a cliff in North Kohala, authorities said.
Firefighters went to the area at about 11 a.m. after hikers reported a body floating face down about 30 yards (27 meters) from shore at the bottom of the steep cliff, officials said.
Crew from a rescue helicopter saw what appeared to be a large tiger shark circling the body in the waters northwest of Hanalua Gulch, officials said.
The crew lowered a rescuer in a special ocean-rescue net, but a bystander reported the shark took the body underwater, officials said.
Aerial search operations continued until 3 p.m. but the body could not be located, officials said.