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Search continues for Big Isle fisherman who fell in ocean

The Hawaii County Fire Department is continuing their search today for a 48-year-old fisherman who was last seen at Kaalualu Bay.

Shane Romena of Ocean View was reported missing Monday evening after he fell into the water while he was filling a cooler with ocean water for live bait. Romena was fishing with a young family member at the time. Police said the relative immediately called 911 after he lost sight of him.

Batallion Chief Michael Hayashida of the Hawaii County Fire Department said standard operating procedures indicate water-related search operations to be conducted for up to three days. At the request of Romena’s family, firefighters are continuing the search today with a helicopter and three ground units.

The Coast Guard has suspended its search for Romena. In a news release today, Senior Chief Brian Wear, command duty officer at the Coast Guard Sector Honolulu, said, “Our sincerest condolences go out to Romena’s family and friends during this difficult time.”

“Suspending a case is never an easy thing to do and it’s something that is handled with the utmost care and consideration,” Wear said.

The Coast Guard and Hawaii County Fire Department scoured a total of 1,615 square miles off of Kaalualu Bay in search of Romena. Assets involved include the fire department’s divers, helicopter crew and ground units and the Coast Guard’s cutter Galveston Island, HC-130 Hercules plane and MH-65 Dolphin helicopter.

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