Search for missing fisherman suspended

Coast Guard calls off search for man who went overboard Sunday off Hana

After two days of searching, the U.S. Coast Guard announced Wednesday that it was calling off the active search for a fisherman who went overboard Sunday afternoon 80 miles north of Hana.

“We extend our condolences to the friends and loved ones affected by this tragedy,” said Petty Officer 1st Class William Cusic, a Coast Guard Sector Honolulu watchstander. “Our crews worked diligently, but unfortunately there has been no sign of the missing fisherman, and the Coast Guard has suspended the active search pending further developments.”

The Coast Guard did not identify the fisherman, described as standing 5 feet 6 inches tall and weighing 130 pounds. He was last seen wearing jeans. Mariners were asked to keep a lookout for the man.

A Coast Guard official said the man has no ties to Maui, but he does have family residing on Oahu. The official said the Coast Guard would not release the man’s name until at least 24 hours after family members received word of what happened.

Anyone with information is asked to call (808) 842-2600.

On Sunday afternoon, Coast Guard officials in Honolulu received a distress call from the 68-foot fishing vessel Kawaiola that one of its crew members went overboard. He was last seen on the vessel’s deck at 2:30 p.m. Then, the crew realized the man was no longer aboard and made the distress call, the Coast Guard said. The vessel is believed to be home-ported on Oahu.

The agency reported that it conducted 30 searches covering 10,246 square miles in two days. Involved in the search were Air Station Barbers Point HC-130 Hercules air crews, a Navy MH-60R Seahawk helicopter crew from the Kaneohe Bay-based Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 37 and the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Kittiwake.