Search underway for fisherman who fell into ocean near Kaalualu Bay

Photo provided by Tiffany Lee

The daughters of a missing fisherman hope he’ll be found alive and safe.

Stephanie Castle and Tiffany Lee say they haven’t left the scene where their dad went fishing, near the southern tip of Hawaii island.

“I’m losing it,” Lee said. “That’s all that is going through my mind. There is nothing going through my head but finding my dad.”

Emergency response crews were notified shortly after 6 p.m. Monday that Shane Romena, 48, was missing.

He had been fishing with his grandson from a cliff at Kaalualu Bay. The 10-year-old called 911 after he saw Romena fall into the water while trying to clean a cooler.

“He just said that my dad went out. He was going to get water for the bait, since he likes to get live bait to put on his pole, and after that he fell and he seen his papa floating out,” Lee said.

Due to the large surf, the U.S. Coast Guard said the fire department could not search with small boats, so it used two helicopter crews to scan the water.

The boy was airlifted from the rocky shoreline by HFD and brought to a designated landing zone where he was picked up by his grandmother.

Castle spoke to her nephew later that evening.

“I asked him if my dad made any noises or screams when he was in the water, and he said no. All he’d seen was him floating,” Castle said.

Photo provided by Tiffany Lee

According to his daughters, Romena is an experienced fisherman, and had been to the area once before.

HFD’s search was called off at nightfall and resumed at first light Tuesday while the Coast Guard continued to search throughout the night.

An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point and the Coast Guard Cutter Galveston Island are currently searching the area.

“The Coast Guard is definitely going to try to follow the currents of that area,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Tara Molle. “They are definitely going to try and search and constantly change their searches to try and keep up with where the swell would be.”

Weather conditions on scene are reported as 40 mph winds, seas to eight feet with a three-foot swell.

So far, firefighters have conducted four dives, and combed the shoreline a mile and a half in each direction.

“We just want to find him and bring him back, so that we can be at peace,” Lee said. “We just need peace. I just want to find him. I know he is not here with us, but I just need peace. We need peace as a family.”

Romena is 6 feet 2 inches tall and approximately 180 lbs. He was last seen wearing green and red shorts and was not wearing a shirt.

Anyone with information is asked to call Coast Guard Sector Honolulu command center at (808) 842-2600.

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