Search suspended for two missing Big Island fishermen

Local News

HONOLULU (KHON2) — The search for two fishermen on the Big Island has been suspended on Saturday, around 7 p.m.

The two men, who have been identified as 62-year-old James Oyama and 37-year-old Jay Jara, were presumed to have been swept off the shore of the Big Island on February 12, 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.”

Responders conducted 28 separate searches and covered nearly 1,000 square nautical miles in their combined effort to find the two men.

Hawaii County Dispatch relayed information to the Coast Guard at 7 a.m. Thursday reporting the two fishermen overdue after receiving a report from a family member at 5:46 a.m.

Oyama and Jara reportedly went fishing at 5 p.m. in street clothes Wednesday at Whittington Beach Park on the southeast side of the island and were expected to be back before midnight.

Responders located the fishermen’s vehicles in the beach park and their gear onshore in the breaking surf zone.

The weather on scene was around 15 mph winds and seas were up to eight feet.

A small craft advisory remains in effect for the main Hawaiian Islands.

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