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Loved ones try to cope with loss of fishermen

by Nick Delgado

Guam - Guam Fire Department search-&-rescue personnel pulled the lifeless body of one of two missing fishermen from the waters in Ipan, Talofofo on Friday morning.  "I really appreciate the rescues, the body that was found - his name was Paul Monkeyan, so right now I'm just so stuck.  I don't know what to say," Elsie Pangelinan struggled to share.

She and other family members were shocked as the body of one of their relatives was pulled from the waters off Ipan today. GFD officials say the body was discovered around 10:45 this morning about 100 meters from the shore.  Monkeyan was found lifeless about 65 feet under water inside the channel.  Family members of the two, Henry Lowary and Monkeyan, have been gathered at the shore in the southern village.

The hard part was when they had to walk up to the back of the GFD truck to id Monkeyan's body, which was inside a yellow body bag.

Brother-in-law Dulen Lowary is just thankful that there is progress in the search.  "I want to say thank for those guys who help me, I really appreciate what you guys doing for me even if we're not from here, I really appreciate what you guys doing for me," he said.

Lowary, Monkeyan and another friend went spearfishing late Wednesday night, but only one man returned to the shore safely, while the other two were swept out to sea from strong currents. That man, Ben Hairens, was at a lost for words when he saw his friend.

Jeff's Pirates Cove owner Jeff Pleadwell says he saw the body of Monkeyan. He says Monkeyan was still wearing his snorkeling mask and steel toe combat boots, "That is not really good for swimming on the channel. I assume they came here to walk on the reef and ended up in the channel, and whatever happened after that happened," he said.

Meanwhile, chief of operations for the rescue team John Wusstig says the U.S. Coast Guard cutter and Navy's HSC-25 unit continue to assist with the search hoping to find Lowary soon.  "We're hopeful and that's why we stay here especially for the family to realize that we're still here and we're going to try and find some closure to this for them and that's what it's about," he said.

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