- Associated Press - Saturday, December 31, 2016

HONOLULU (AP) - The U.S. Coast Guard in Hawaii says it’s expanding its search for a small plane carrying three people that’s missing off Molokai.

Coast Guard crews in aircraft and vessels are searching in winds stronger than 20 mph with scattered showers and waves of 6 to 8 feet. Molokai Fire Department and Maui County firefighters are also involved in the search.

The Coast Guard identified those aboard the plane as pilot Michael Childers and passengers John Mizuno and Whitney Thomas. The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported (https://bit.ly/2hAy42B) State Rep. John Mizuno confirmed he was not on the plane.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said the Cessna 172 disappeared off radar Friday night while flying from Molokai to Honolulu. Gregor said the plane’s last known position was about 35 miles east-southeast of Kaneohe.

The Coast Guard initiated a search Friday night but was hampered by bad weather.

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