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Coast Guard and Marines seek Big Isle fisherman


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POSTED: Saturday, November 14, 2009

Coast Guard and Kaneohe Bay Marine Corps aircraft and ships searched the waters off the Big Island yesterday for a fisherman who was reported missing from a 34-foot boat.

Dennis Johnson reported his twin brother Devon missing at 2:45 a.m. yesterday about 60 miles west of the Big Island, the Coast Guard said.

The two were about to switch helm duties aboard the Kealia when Dennis noticed his brother missing, the Coast Guard said.

                       

        The Coast Guard searched more than 2,000 square miles—an area more than twice the size of Oahu—and asked the HSL Squadron 37 at Marine Corps Base Hawaii for aerial assistance with the search for Devon Johnson.

He called the Kealia's owner, who informed the Coast Guard, which dispatched its HH-65 Dolphin helicopter, C-130 aircraft and two patrol boats—the Honolulu-based Galveston Island and Hilo-based Kiska.

Devon Johnson was last seen wearing an olive green sweater and black shorts but no life jacket.

The Coast Guard searched more than 2,000 square miles—an area more than twice the size of Oahu—and asked the HSL Squadron 37 at Marine Corps Base Hawaii for aerial assistance with the search. The HSL Squadron 37 flies SH-60 Seahawks. They were to continue searching overnight and today.

Also expected to join the search were as many as five private fishing vessels from the Kailua-Kona side of the Big Island and a family friend with an aircraft, the Coast Guard said. Weather in the area yesterday was reported to be seas of 8 feet.