Missing canoeist found after 4-day search - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Missing canoeist found after 4-day search

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by Sabrina Salas Matanane

Guam – A missing canoeist was found alive and in good condition after a four-day multiagency search, approximately 350 miles southwest of Guam, Thursday. 

The mariner was found on Federaci Island in the Ulithi Atoll by fishermen from Yap State in the Federated States of Micronesia. He was transferred to the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Washington and is scheduled to return to his home on Fais Island.

Sector Guam watchstanders were notified Monday that the canoeist had not returned from a fishing trip as scheduled on Saturday.  

An HC-130 Hercules aircraft from Air Station Barbers Point, Hawaii and a U.S. Navy P-3 Orion long-range search aircraft from Okinawa, Japan were launched on Monday to assist in the search. The crew of the cutter Washington was also sent out to search.

Citizens from FSM assisted in the search, providing use of local fishing vessels. Local mariners began a search for the canoeist two days earlier.

"This is an excellent example of multi-agency coordination and search effort," said Lt. Gregg Maye, Sector Guam command center supervisor.  "The Coast Guard is thankful for the continued support of its military and civilian partners, whose assistance was essential in the success of this mission."

Coast Guard, Navy and FSM assets saturated the 11,536 square-mile search area for four days before the canoeist was found.

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