Search continues for 2 fishermen

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The search for two missing fishermen and their vessel continues, with the search entering Day 3 today.

Department of Public Safety spokesperson Dre Pangelinan confirmed at press time yesterday that the fishermen and their vessel remain lost at sea.

Pangelinan said DPS Boating Safety, with assistance from the U.S. Coast Guard, will continue the search today.

According to a DPS statement, DPS received a call at about 9am last Friday about two overdue fisherman who left the Garapan Fishing Base marina at about 5:30am on Thursday morning. The men were due to return on Friday morning.

Police learned from the callers, the fishermen’s spouses, that their husbands might be fishing around Goat Island and Tinian. The two fishermen left aboard a white, 21-foot, fiberglass boat named Sea Swirl, which is powered by a 150-horsepower, 4-stroke Yamaha engine.

The DPS Zodiac I rescue boat was launched at about 9:30am to search around the west side of Saipan as the DPS Impact rescue boat searched for the missing vessel at Marpi Reef, Goat Island, and Tinian. The U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Navy assisted the Coast Guard cutter Oliver Henry and the U.S. Navy Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 25 throughout the day.

During the search, the Impact rescue boat made contact with vessels that were fishing around the Esmeralda Reef and Coke Reef but the people aboard those boats stated that there were no other vessels out there. The Impact continued toward the west side of Tinian with no sighting of the vessel.

Both rescue vessels continued to search the common fishing areas and made contact with a total of six vessels that were fishing in various areas who reported that they did not see the described vessel or the two fishermen. DPS continued searching for the vessel until it became dark and they had to call off the search for the day.

Kimberly Bautista | Reporter
Kimberly Albiso Bautista has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at kimberly_bautista@saipantribune.com.
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