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Search continues for missing fisherman

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Day Two of search efforts continues along the western coast of Guam for an overdue fisherman. "We know that he was diving," said Fire Chief Joey San Nicolas. "Basically had a black mask and blue shorts with yellow fins. Our assumption was that he did not have a floatation device." He's describing the man who went missing Monday afternoon, but wasn't reported missing to authorities until Tuesday.

"Basically that will be questioned by the Guam Police at a later date. But at this point, he did have a partner. The partner did try to wait it out and try to see if he would come in. I guess when he determined he was missing, he came in and reported it to us," San Nicolas continued.

According to a release from US Coast Guard Sector Guam, the search is for a 51-year-old man who went spear fishing off the coast of Agat Bay. KUAM News has learned the reporting person only knew the man by the name "Tsutomo", who may have been from the village of Tamuning.

Search efforts were launched early Tuesday afternoon with a command post setup behind the Agat Cemetery. "We're basically searching from our current point which is at the Agat Cemetery and going as far north as Orote Point, and going as far south to Cocos Island. The United States Coast Guard did drop a data buoy that did provide some information on how the current is flowing so we believe we're in the right areas," the chief added.

Today, the multi-agency search included a small boat, 3 divers and 2 jetskis from Guam Fire Rescue, a small boat and shoreline team from GPD, a helicopter from the Naval Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 25, the 110-foot patrol boat, Coast Guard Cutter Washington, and a 45-foot rescue boat from Coast Guard Station Apra Harbor.

San Nicolas said, "Normally within the first 24-48 hours, and sometimes in some cases up to 72 hours we would still keep it as a search. A lot of factors go into that, such as whether they had a floatation device, whether they had provisions to survive a couple of hours or whether they were out of the water or in the water. But it all depends on the situation but often by the third day, will we switch into a recovery effort."

Although waters appeared perfectly still, San Nicolas reminds beach goers to make safety a top priority. "In anything and everything that you do, the oceans are definitely unpredictable at times. What may seem inviting and calm could pose danger if you're not careful. We just expect everyone to always come up with a plan, dive with safety in mind using safety devices, having a partner with you, and emergency backup plans, if any," he said.

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