Search for missing kayaker in Waialua continues - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Search for missing kayaker in Waialua continues

Russell Yoshida Russell Yoshida
Commander Amy Cocanour Commander Amy Cocanour
Rick Kawahakui Rick Kawahakui
Captain Terry Seelig Captain Terry Seelig

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

WAIALUA (HawaiiNewsNow) - Honolulu fire crews and the Coast Guard continued their extensive search for a missing fisherman on Oahu's North Shore Tuesday.

Russell Yoshida took off from Waialua on a kayak Monday and hasn't been seen since. Family and friends say they remain hopeful.

Haleiwa Boat Harbor has been serving as the staging area for the multi-agency operation. Crews began scouring the waters Monday night and have covered a search area approximately the size of Oahu.

Searchers went back and forth along the Waialua coastline, determined to find a missing waterman.

"We have programs that we use that take into consideration both the current and the winds to develop search areas," Commander Amy Cocanour, U.S. Coast Guard, said.

Russell Yoshida, 53, a city utility worker, a church member, and an avid fisherman, left on his 10-foot, plastic yellow kayak Monday.

"We love to hear him tell his stories, you know, and it's true stories. It's not fishermen stories," Rick Kawahakui, family friend, said. "You know why because he always comes back with a catch. He never came back empty-handed."

The search party included Yoshida's older brother, Steven, using the family's boat. Crews were able to locate Yoshida's paddle Monday night. On day two, they discovered even more.

"We have found some other items that have been identified as being with Mr. Yoshida -- a fishing rod, a bailer and some water bottles," Capt. Terry Seelig, Honolulu Fire Department, said.

But there's still no sign of Yoshida or his kayak.

"It's very puzzling because Russell is not afraid of the ocean, but he gave up taking chances some time ago," Kawahakui said.

So far, the teams have searched about 17 miles of shoreline and have gone about 15 miles off shore.

"You're looking for a very small, small search object in a really large ocean," Cocanour said. "And we'll keep searching for as long as the possibility of survival exists."

Fire officials say they are concerned about the rising surf on the North Shore and the impact it will have on the search teams in the water.

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