Coast Guard Concludes Search for Missing Fishermen

The Coast Guard concluded the search on Saturday at 7 p.m. for two fishermen presumed swept off the shore of Hawai`i Island Wednesday night.

James Oyama, 62, and Jay Jara, 37, 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.

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)

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. James Oyama and Jay 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 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 up to 8 feet. A small craft advisory remains in effect for the main Hawaiian Islands.