Crews searching for 3 missing after boat overturned off Haleiwa

Published: Jul. 4, 2016 at 12:40 PM HST|Updated: Jul. 5, 2016 at 10:12 AM HST
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The boat the group was in is pictured with Derek Tomas steering (Image: Justin Wong)
The boat the group was in is pictured with Derek Tomas steering (Image: Justin Wong)
Jenson Loo and Derek Tomas (Image: Justin Wong)
Jenson Loo and Derek Tomas (Image: Justin Wong)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)

The search continues for three men who never returned from their fishing trip near Haleiwa.

Rescue crews are looking for Jenson Loo, Klint Oshima and Derek Tomas, who are all in their 30s.

The U.S. Coast Guard said the fishermen left Haleiwa Boat Harbor around 5:45 a.m. Sunday. They were supposed to be back by 5:00 p.m. that evening, but when loved ones didn't hear from them, they called watchstanders at Sector Honolulu around 8:30 p.m.

The Coast Guard immediately deployed air and sea rescue teams. By morning, the Honolulu Fire Department and Navy joined them.

Friends and family members say the three men are avid fishermen who know the area and water really well.

"It's kind of surprising…but it's the ocean. I just hope they just find them and everything will be OK," said fellow fisherman and friend Justin Wong.

Around 10:00 a.m. Monday, the Coast Guard spotted their 20-foot fishing vessel about 25 miles off shore of Haleiwa Boat Harbor. It was overturned.

"The Coast Guard did send a rescue swimmer down to confirm if there was anyone in the vessel taking shelter. There was no one found," said Coast Guard Maritime Enforcement Specialist Jeremy Takesue.

The Honolulu Fire Department launched an aerial and watercraft search around 8:00 a.m. Monday. Firefighters are searching up to three miles off shore from Waianae Boat Harbor to Turtle Bay Resort.

"Yesterday was real rough and windy…I talked to some commercial fishermen here and commercial operators...they said it was really windy and the ocean conditions were real rough," said HFD Battalion Chief Paul Fukuda.

Takesue said Coast Guard crews are searching out to 40 miles off shore.

"Right now we do have strong trade winds. The seas are a little rough especially out that far. Right now the visibility is great so we're doing everything we can out there," Takesue said.

Takesue said it's not uncommon to see a vessel of that type be that far out, but the clock is ticking as it heads into nighttime.

"Any search and rescue case it's critical out there. We want to find them as soon as possible because if not, the search pattern just keeps getting bigger and bigger," Takesue said.

The Coast Guard asks anyone with information that can help them locate the three fishermen to contact the Sector Honolulu Command Center at 808-842-2600.

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