(BIVN) – The U.S. Coast Guard said on Saturday that it concluded the search for two fishermen presumed swept off the shore of Hawaii Island Wednesday night.
62-year-old James Oyama, and 37-year-old Jay Jara – both of Nā‘ālehu – remain missing.
“Pending any further developments, we’ve suspended the active search for these men,” said Cmdr. Benjamin Gates, Deputy Sector Commander, Coast Guard Sector Honolulu. “Suspending a search without a positive resolution is never easy. Our condolences go out to the families and friends of James and Jay.”
According to the Hawaiʻi Police Department:
At 5:34 a.m. Thursday morning (February 13), family members reported that 62-year-old James Oyama, and 37-year-old Jay Jara, both of Nā‘ālehu, failed to return home from a shoreline fishing trip near Honuʻapo Bay the evening prior.
Police and Hawaiʻi Fire Department (HFD) personnel began a ground search, later locating the victims’ two trucks and their personal items on Mill Road at 6:35 a.m. that same morning. A fishing pole belonging to one of the men was set-up at the shoreline in an area exposed to high surf conditions.
The U.S. Coast Guard says responders conducted 28 separate searches and covered nearly 1,000 square nautical miles in their combined effort to find the two men.
Involved in the searches were:
- Hawaii County Fire “Chopper 1” helicopter crews
- Hawaii County Fire ground teams
- Hawaii County Police
- A Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules airplane crews
- Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crews
- U.S. Marine Corps Forces Pacific Huey and Cobra helicopter crews
- The crew of the USCGC Joseph Gerczak (WPC 1126)
The weather on scene was around 15 mph winds and seas up to 8 feet, the Coast Guard said. A small craft advisory remains in effect for the main Hawaiian Islands.