Coast Guard, Navy searching for fisherman off Maui

MH-60 Seahawk helicopter (U.S. Navy photo by Seaman Cody

MH-60 Seahawk helicopter File Photo (U.S. Navy photo by Seaman Cody M. Deccio)

HONOLULU — The Coast Guard with assistance from the Navy is searching for a fisherman overboard from a vessel 80 miles north of Hana, Sunday.

“We are currently searching for a crewmember of the fishing vessel Kawaiola who reportedly fell overboard 80 miles off Maui,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Tyler Peterson, a Coast Guard Sector Honolulu watchstander. “He is described as 5 feet 6 inches, weighing 130 pounds, and was last seen wearing jeans. We ask mariners transiting the area be watchful for any sign of him.”

A Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point HC-130 Hercules aircrew and a Navy MH-60R Seahawk helicopter crew from the Kaneohe Bay-based Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 37 are searching the area. Coast Guard Sector Honolulu watchstanders issued an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast Notice to Mariners requesting anyone in the area keep a sharp lookout for signs of distress.

At 5:11 p.m., Sector Honolulu watchstanders received a distress call from the master of the 68-foot fishing vessel Kawaiola reporting one of their crewmembers reportedly went overboard. He was last seen on the deck of the vessel at 2:30 p.m. Later, the crew realized he was no longer aboard and made the distress call.

The Hercules aircrew launched to conduct a search of the area. The Navy Seahawk crew also launched to assist in the search. The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Kittiwake (WPB 87316) is currently en-route and will conduct search patterns at first light.

The weather on scene is reported as winds of 17 mph and seas of 5 feet.

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