Coast Guard searching for missing fisherman off Hawaii Island

An Air Station Barber Point MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew searches the coast of Hawaii Island during a search and rescue case, June 13, 2020. The crew was looking for a fisher who went missing while on a camping trip with his friends two and a half miles northeast of Punaluu Beach. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Lt. Jack Sauve/released)

An Air Station Barber Point MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew searches the coast of Hawaii Island  June 13, 2020.  (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Lt. Jack Sauve)

HONOLULU — The Coast Guard and Hawaii County Fire Department are searching for a missing fisherman two and a half miles northeast of Punaluu Beach on Hawaii Island.

“We are currently searching for Mark Lowery, 47 years-old, who was camping with friends and last seen at 10 p.m., Friday, wearing a black hoodie sweatshirt, tan shorts, and a headlamp,” said Mark Zienkiewicz, a Coast Guard Sector Honolulu watchstander. “We request waterway users transiting the area to keep a sharp lookout for signs of distress. Anyone with information that might aid us, please call 808-842-2600.”

Hawaii County Fire Department Air 1 helicopter and ground crews are conducting searches of the area and nearby coastline. Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point MH-65 Dolphin helicopter and HC-130 Hercules aircrews are searching the surrounding waters. The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter William Hart (WPC 1134) is also assisting.

At 6:53 a.m., Saturday, the Hawaii County Fire Department contacted Sector Honolulu watchstanders to report the situation.

Lowery was on a camping trip with seven friends. When they went to bed for the night, Lowery reportedly stayed up to go fishing. At 5 a.m., Saturday morning, the friends woke up and realized Lowery was missing.

His backpack, as well as several fishing rods, were also gone. The friends contacted the Hawaii County Fire Department, who deployed the helicopter and ground crews to search the area.

Upon notification, Sector Honolulu watchstanders issued an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast notice to mariners and deployed the Dolphin helicopter and Hercules crews to assist.

The weather on scene is winds of 17 mph and seas up to seven feet.

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