Coast Guard suspends the search for missing Big Island fisherman

HONOLULU — The U.S. Coast Guard suspended the search for Devin Johnson, a 23-year-old fisherman last seen early Friday morning approximately 60 miles west of the Big Island.

The Coast Guard notified the family and officially suspended the search at 7:30 p.m. pending any further developments.

Air crews aboard a Coast Guard C-130 long-range search plane and HH-65 Dolphin rescue helicopter were on scene at first light Sunday morning and searched throughout the day.

Also searching today were air crews aboard a Navy P-3 Orion fixed-wing aircraft and SH-60 Seahawk rescue helicopter from the Navy’s HSL Squadron 37. Both aircraft are based at Marine Corps Base Hawaii in Kaneohe.

A search directed from the Coast Guard’s 24-hour Honolulu Harbor command center covered more than 8,000 square miles — an area nearly twice the size of the Big Island.

“It’s always difficult to suspend a search,” said Capt. Barry Compagnoni, the U.S. Coast Guard Captain of the Port, Honolulu, and the senior-most Coast Guard officer responsible for directing the search.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Devin Johnson’s family, friends and loved ones during this tragic time. We saturated the search area with as many assets as we could bring to bear and it is extremely unfortunate we were unable to find any sign.”

Searchers on scene today reported weather conditions of seas of five feet and winds from the southeast at 25 mph.

Anyone with further information about the missing man is asked to contact the Coast Guard at 808-842-2600 or via VHF marine band radio channel 16 or the Hawaii Police Department on the Big Island.

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