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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted at 10:45 a.m., Wednesday, June 27, 2001

Search continues despite report fishermen are OK

By Mike Gordon
Advertiser Staff Writer

Two North Shore fishermen are either missing or having too much fun to come home, but the U.S. Coast Guard has decided not to take any chances and searched waters off Hale'iwa and Ka'ena Point today.

Lawrence Kealoha, captain of the 30-foot sampan Haleiwa, and crewman Kevin Nakamura were expected home yesterday morning. When they did not return, a girlfriend of one of the men called the Coast Guard at 8:30 p.m., said Petty Officer Lauren Smith.

The high-endurance cutter Jarvis searched last night, and an HH-65 helicopter was sent out at first light this morning.

Smith said the Haleiwa had a CB radio, but it was not known wheth-

er it was working. That prompted the Coast Guard to suspend the search about 9 a.m. when the helicopter returned for fuel. Officials wanted to be sure a thorough check of CB channels was made, Smith said.

Paul Sensano, Hale'iwa harbor master, said he spoke to a fisherman this morning who saw the men at about 2 a.m. today, fishing on the Makua side of the Wai'anae Mountains. They might simply have decided to stay out longer and take advantage of nice water conditions, Sensano said.

"I know these two guys," Sensano said. "They are good fishermen. They are experienced and they know what they are doing."

Even so, the Coast Guard has to respond to every type of concern, he said. "It's their job."

Smith said neither man filed a "float plan," a simple note detailing where they planned to fish and for how long. She said that's vital in the event of an emergency.

"It gives us a great starting point," Smith said.