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Two Fishermen Missing Off Big Island Coast

February 13, 2020, 1:25 PM HST
* Updated February 14, 10:36 AM
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CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story mistakenly identified the second missing man as Jay Jara Oyama and indicated he was some type of relation to James Oyama. That was based on incorrect information provided by officials sources to Big Island Now.

Hawai‘i Island police, fire department personnel and the Coast Guard are engaged in a joint search and rescue operation off the southeast coast of the Big Island after two fishermen reportedly went missing there.

James Oyama, 62, and Jay Jara, 37, went fishing near Whittington Beach Park in Na‘alehu Wednesday night at around 5 p.m. When they hadn’t returned home by early Thursday morning, Oyama’s daughter contacted authorities.

“They are presumed to have been swept off the shore,” said Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Amanda Wyrick. She added that authorities, who began the search at around 7 a.m. Thursday, have located the Oyamas vehicle in the beach park and also found their gear on the shoreline.

Two Coast Guard helicopters and one Hercules airplane crew are assisting a Hawai‘i Fire Department rescue chopper in the sky search. A Coast Guard cutter was deployed from O‘ahu to search on the water. HFD also has ground crews on scene bolstered by unspecified police assets also involved in the search.

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