County / In Brief

Surf’s up in Paia: A bodyboarder cuts a sharp turn off the top of a wave at Paia Bay on Thursday afternoon. A high-surf warning has been posted for north-facing shores of Maui and Molokai and west-facing shores of Molokai until 6 p.m. today. The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

High-surf advisory is set for islands

A high-surf warning is in effect for north-facing shores of Maui and Molokai and west-facing shores of Molokai until 6 p.m. today with wave faces expected to hit 20 to 25 feet, the National Weather Service said.

A large north-northwest swell began building Thursday night and is expected to remain elevated through today before declining tonight and Saturday, the weather service said.

Expect high sweeping waves on beaches and strong shore breaks with rip currents.

Baldwin Park in Paia, which is often closed during high-surf events along the north shore, was open Thursday, but parks officials warned of intermittent closings due to the high waves.

For more information on the park, call 270-7383.


Search for missing hiker called off

The search for a 20-year-old man who fell off the Puka Maui Trail in East Maui into the ocean was called off at sundown Thursday after three days of searching the rough offshore waters, Maui Fire Department officials said.

Rescue crews have not recovered the man’s body or any personal belongings since he fell into the ocean off Kailua on Tuesday while hiking, said Fire Services Chief Ed Taomoto. The man’s body was seen Tuesday washing up on the rocks but a surge pulled the body back into the water, and he has not been seen since.

Crews aboard the Fire Department’s Air One helicopter Thursday expanded their search area beyond where the victim was last seen but nothing turned up, he said. Ocean conditions were still rough and water visibility very poor from stream runoff in the morning.

Because of the dangerous conditions and the poor visibility, only aerial searches were conducted Thursday. In previous days, ocean safety personnel on watercraft and divers have combed the waters where the man, a visitor, fell into the sea, he said.


Woman robbed in Target parking lot

Police are investigating the robbery of a woman who had her purse stolen when she was attacked Tuesday night in the Target parking lot in Kahului.

The robbery occurred at 10:10 p.m. after the woman had left the store and was walking to her vehicle in the parking lot, said Capt. Ricky Uedoi, commander of the Wailuku Patrol District. A gray or silver sport utility vehicle pulled up behind the woman and a passenger got out and attacked her from behind, he said.

The woman was hit on the head with an unknown object and knocked to the ground, Uedoi said. Her purse was taken before the robber got back into the vehicle and fled.

The woman, who is in her 50s, was taken to Maui Memorial Medical Center for treatment of injuries that weren’t life threatening, Uedoi said.

The robber was described as local male, about 6 feet tall and weighing 180 pounds.