Coast Guard, Hawai`i County Searching for Missing Fishers

The Coast Guard, Hawai`i County Fire Department, and the Hawai`i Police Department are currently searching for two fishers presumed swept off the shore of the Big Island on Wednesday evening.

Missing are James Oyama, 63, and Jay Jara Oyama, 37.

Coast Guard officials say Hawai`i County Dispatch relayed information to the Coast Guard at 7 a.m. on Thursday, reporting the two fishers overdue after receiving a report from a family member at 5:46 a.m.

The Oyamas 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 back before midnight. Responders located the fisher’s vehicle in the beach park and their gear onshore in the breaking surf zone.

“We are working cooperatively with Hawai`i County to search the area,” said Charles Turner, command duty officer with Coast Guard Sector Honolulu. “Anyone with information about the Oyama’s that may assist us with the search is asked to call the command center at 808-842-2600.”

Searching are:
– Hawaii County Fire “Chopper 1” helicopter crew
– Hawaii County Fire ground parties
– Hawaii County Police
– A Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules airplane crew
– Two Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crews

The Coast Guard Cutter Joesph Gerczak (WPC 1126) was also launched from Honolulu to join the search.

Weather is reported as light winds and excellent visibility with 5 to 7-foot surf near shore.