Update 2 and Final: Responders suspend search for spearfisher near Blue Hole, Guam

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News Release  

U.S. Coast Guard Forces Micronesia / Sector Guam
Contact: CWO Sara Muir
Phone or WhatsApp: 671-688-6096
After Hours: HawaiiPacific@uscg.mil
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Update 2 and Final: Responders suspend search for spearfisher near Blue Hole, Guam

Lt. j.g. Dale Walters keeps a lookout from the bridge of the USCGC Myrtle Hazard (WPC 1139) for a missing 31-year-old spearfisher near Blue Hole, Guam, on March 17, 2023.

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SANTA RITA, Guam — Responders suspended the active search for a missing 31-year-old male spearfisher off Blue Hole on the west side of Guam on March 19, 2023, at 6:32 p.m.

The spearfisher remains missing.

Involved in the search were:

- Guam Fire Department
- Guam Police Department
- U.S. Navy Security Forces
- U.S. Navy Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 25 (HSC-25)
- U.S. Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit Five
- USCGC Myrtle Hazard (WPC 1139)
- U.S. Coast Guard Station Apra Harbor
- U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point MH-65 Dolphin Helicopter
- U.S. Coast Guard Forces Micronesia/Sector Guam Joint Rescue Sub-Center

“We offer our heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of the missing man. Working closely with our partners, we conducted 24 searches over 70 hours, covering over 1,302 square nautical miles,” said Lt. Cmdr. Ryan Crose, the FM/SG search and rescue mission coordinator for the case. “It’s never an easy decision to suspend search efforts, and the loss saddens us.”

At around 6 p.m. on March 16, Guam Fire Department personnel received word of a missing spearfisher near Blue Hole. Watchstanders at FM/SG JRSC received notification shortly after. The missing spearfisher was reportedly part of a group of seven aboard a vessel on an excursion to spearfish near Orote Point.

Watchstanders immediately coordinated with Guam Fire Department personnel, and HSC-25 diverted two helicopters from a nearby training mission. JRSC diverted USCGC Myrtle Hazard from their offshore patrol and directed the launch of two 29-foot Response Boat-Small crews from Station Apra Harbor. U.S. Navy Security Forces also took action to search the shoreline and Apra Harbor. A joint incident command post was established on the beach nearby. The team also issued an urgent marine information broadcast notice to mariners advising anyone in the area to keep a sharp lookout and report any sightings to responders.

While the active search is suspended, anyone with any information should call the U.S. Coast Guard Forces Micronesia/Sector Guam Joint Rescue Sub-Center at +1 671-355-4824.

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