Responders search for spearfisher near Blue Hole, Guam
SANTA RITA, Guam—Emergency responders are continuing to search for a missing 31-year-old male spearfisher off Blue Hole on the west side of Guam on March 18, 2023.
The spearfisher was last seen wearing a red wetsuit and red fins. Responders did locate his speargun. Anyone with information should call the U.S. Coast Guard Forces Micronesia/Sector Guam Joint Rescue Sub-Center (FM/SG JRSC) at +1 671-355-4824.
The search has resulted in the postponement of an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew’s visit to Saipan today, March 20, 2023, as the aircrew is engaged in the search operation.
Aircraft commander Lt. Cmdr. Andrew Cinque and the aircrew were supposed to conduct a search and rescue demonstration today, March 20, 2023, from 9am to 9:30am at the Outer Cove Dock and visitor parking at Smiling Cove Marina. This event is now cancelled but they promised to do this again in the near future.
Responders who are currently on scene in Guam include crews from:
-Guam Fire Department
-USCGC Myrtle Hazard (WPC 1139)
-U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point MH-65 Dolphin Helicopter
“Based on drift models and the use of self-locating datum marker buoys, our search is expanding offshore,” said Lt. Cmdr. Ryan Crose, the FM/SG search and rescue mission coordinator for the case. “We’re continuing to coordinate with our partners at the Guam Police Department and Guam Fire Department. We appreciate the support from the U.S. Navy’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit Five in the search Friday.”
At around 6pm on March 16, Guam Fire Department personnel received word of a missing spearfisher near Blue Hole. Watchstanders at FM/SG JRSC received notification shortly after. The missing spearfisher was reportedly part of a group of seven aboard a vessel on an excursion to spearfish near Orote Point. Watchstanders immediately coordinated with Guam Fire Department personnel, and HSC-25 diverted two helicopters from a nearby training mission. JRSC diverted Coast Guard cutter Myrtle Hazard from their offshore patrol and directed the launch of two 29-foot Response Boat-Small crews from Station Apra Harbor. U.S. Navy Security Forces also took action to search the shoreline and Apra Harbor. A joint incident command post has been established on the beach nearby.
The team also issued an urgent marine information broadcast notice to mariners advising anyone in the area to keep a sharp lookout and report any sightings to responders.
The forecasted weather on scene is east winds of around 18 knots (20 mph) shifting to east-northeast by evening, mostly sunny, with 6-foot waves. Sea conditions may calm tonight and Sunday, March 19. A small craft advisory is in effect through 6 p.m.
The MH-65 Dolphin helicopter is a short-range recovery helicopter used by the Service to perform search and rescue, law enforcement, and homeland security missions. The aircrew is forward deployed to Guam from Hawaii for six weeks serving the people of Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands while working with U.S. Coast Guard Forces Micronesia/Sector Guam to assess the feasibility of more frequent operations in the islands and provide an additional search and rescue asset as available. (USCG)