08/29/23-SPECIALIZED FBI TEAM DEPLOYS OFF LĀHAINĀPosted on Aug 29, 2023 in DOCARE, Main, Media, News Releases, slider
|JOSH GREEN, M.D.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 29, 2023
SPECIALIZED FBI TEAM DEPLOYS OFF LĀHAINĀ
To view video please click on photo.
(LĀHAINĀ, HAWAI‘I) – Today, aboard the Kai ‘Aiki, a boat operated by the DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE), a trio from the FBI’s Underwater Search and Evidence Response Team (USERT) began probing waters off-shore from Lāhainā.
The team is using specialized equipment to pick up any belongings or identifiable items to assist in the continuing effort to identify people who remain unaccounted for, from the August 8 fire which leveled most of the town.
Simultaneously, expert divers from the U.S. Navy were concluding their two-day long mission and late last week, snorkelers from the Maui Fire Department (MFD) finished searching along the coastline from Puamana Beach Park to Wahikuli Wayside Park.
A team of DOCARE officers also supported the MFD operation, by providing the Kai ‘Akiki to carry personnel and equipment and to serve as a resting platform for searchers.
DOCARE Chief Jason Redulla said, “In a crisis, like the Lāhainā tragedy, it truly is an all-hands-on-deck effort. Just as various federal agencies are helping, and in some cases, leading the recovery tasks in Lāhainā, we will step up to provide whatever resources we can muster to complete a successful operation.”
“The FBI remains committed in providing our resources and expertise to bring closure to affected families of the Lāhainā fire. USERT is comprised of highly trained FBI special agents tasked with searching for and recovering evidence underwater as the FBI continues to assist our law enforcement partners,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Steven Merrill. “We want the public to know that our federal, state, and local partners are doing their due diligence in leaving no stone unturned by seeing if USERT might be able to recover items and return them to the rightful owners.”
The FBI search is expected to be the final mission in the multipronged effort to try and account for any remaining victims of the fire, to provide their families some closure.
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(All images/video courtesy: DLNR)
HD Video – DOCARE and FBI evidence collection (August 29, 2023):
Photographs – DOCARE and FBI evidence collection (August 29, 2023):
Senior Communications Manager
Hawai‘i Department of Land and Natural Resources