Big-wave surfer 'Ace Cool' Cooke missing in Hawaii

Fri Oct 30, 2015 12:30pm EDT
 
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(Reuters) - Big-wave surfer Alec "Ace Cool" Cooke has been missing in Hawaii since failing to return from a surfing trip on Tuesday on the North Shore of the island of Oahu, officials said.

An HC-130 Hercules airplane searched for Cooke, 59, in the waters of Waimea Bay after his girlfriend reported him missing on Wednesday, the U.S. Coast Guard said in a statement.

Honolulu police, who are taking part in the search, said in a statement that Cooke was last seen leaving his home in the community of Waialua on Tuesday afternoon to go surfing on the North Shore.

His truck was found parked at a church near the beach with his dog and his keys still inside, the Coast Guard said in a statement on Thursday.

Cooke was raised in Hawaii and gained fame in the 1980s for his big-wave surfing, especially for his exploits in Waimea Bay, according to the book "Encyclopedia of Surfing" by Matt Warshaw.

In 1985, he was one of the first to ride Oahu's so-called "outer reefs" when he was dropped off by helicopter and surfed a massive wave in a ride that was captured in a photo that became a popular postcard, according to "Encyclopedia of Surfing."

(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Bill Trott)