Coast Guard Suspends Search for Surfer in Hawaii

Alec “Ace Cool” Cooke was last seen Tuesday afternoon

Nov 2, 2015
Outside Magazine
Coast Guard Suspends Search for Surfer in Hawaii

According to Hawaii News Now, Cooke was last seen paddling into Waimea Bay on Hawaii's North Shore around sunset on Tuesday. Cooke's friend Rich Jensen told the TV station he liked to paddle out at night "because nobody else is out there, so I guess he's got it all to himself."    Travis Thurston / Flickr

The U.S. Coast Guard suspended its search for big-wave surfer Alec “Ace Cool” Cooke on Saturday, three days after he was reported missing, according a press release. The 59-year-old Hawaii native was last seen heading out to surf Oahu’s North Shore late Tuesday afternoon, according to Hawaii News Now. When he hadn’t returned the next morning, his girlfriend reported him missing.

On Thursday, Cooke’s surfboard was found near the Waimea River, which connects to Waimea Bay, where he’d set out to surf. Before the search was suspended, rescuers used helicopters, airplanes, and jet skis to search roughly 8,930 square miles, according the press release. 

Cooke was born in Boston but grew up in Kauai and Oahu, according to the Encyclopedia of Surfing. He learned to surf at age six and later became famous for his daredevil stunts, including jumping from a helicopter to surf Oahu’s outer reefs. 

“He’s done all kinds of crazy feats through his life,” Rich Jensen, Cooke’s longtime friend, said in an interview with Hawaii News Now. “He’s always pulled it off, but it might have caught up with him this time.”