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DPS suspends search for missing fisherman; Coast Guard continues search

THE Department of Public Safety suspended its search Saturday for fisherman Lito Aguilar and his 17-foot boat.

Lito Aguilar

In an interview Sunday, DPS Commissioner Robert Guerrero said on the local police side, the search-and-rescue operation is normally suspended after 72 hours “due to limited resources.” But he said the U.S. Coast Guard is expected to continue its search-and-rescue operation.

In a statement, DPS public information officer Jason Tarkong said DPS Saipan and Tinian Boating Safety units along with the U.S. Coast Guard, CNMI Homeland Security and Emergency Management and the Commonwealth Ports Authority Harbor Patrol “saturated” the east coast of Tinian up to Forbidden Island, Saipan, Goat Island and 30 miles south to include 25 miles of coastal search of Tinian and Goat Island.

“The USCG continues to search [Sunday] and [Monday] with a C130 plane and the USCG Cutter Washington.”

The search pattern will include an aerial search east of Tinian and south of Saipan.

At 9:17 p.m. on April 19, 2017 DPS central received a call about an “overdue fisherman.” A witness helped launch Aguilar’s boat at around 12:30 p.m.

The vessel is a 17-foot long white “Calias” with a green stripe and a 90-horsepower Yamaha outboard engine.

Tarkong said the boat’s registration number, CM-0373-PU, is printed on the port side.

“Mr. Aguilar fishes regularly and usually returns to Sugar Dock at about 5 p.m. When Mr. Aguilar failed to return, the witness reported the information to the police. DPS immediately launched Boating Safety patrol boats to search for the overdue boat.”

Joining DPS were the U.S. Coast Guard, including a helicopter and a ship, and the Commonwealth Ports Police Harbor Patrol.

Source: Marianas Variety : http://www.mvariety.com/cnmi/cnmi-news/local/94708-dps-suspends-search-for-missing-fisherman-coast-guard-continues-search

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