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Ocean Search for Two Fishermen Called Off

November 27, 2002|From Associated Press

Authorities on Tuesday suspended the search for two sport fishermen whose boat was found abandoned off Huntington Beach two days earlier.

There was no sign of foul play in the disappearances of Hyong Kum Kim, 46, of Burbank and Dae Kyu Kim, 35, of Los Angeles, authorities said.

A 25-hour, 1,400-square-mile search coordinated by the Coast Guard failed to find any trace of the men after lifeguards found their 22-foot boat Sunday afternoon outside the surf line at Bolsa Chica State Beach.

Lifeguards found a wallet and the keys to the boat, which started up without problems. The seas at the time were calm, authorities said.

"They had caught a couple of small fish," said Joseph Milligan, a Bolsa Chica lifeguard supervisor. "The key was in the ignition, and we found two cell phones aboard."

About 90 minutes before the boat was found empty, the men had used a cellular telephone to call their families, reporting that they were fishing and were having a good time, U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer Louis Hebert said.

Relatives said that Hyong Kim, the boat's owner, "was a novice fisherman who could swim a little," Orange County Harbor Patrol Sgt. Ron Peoples said. "His friend couldn't swim at all.

"Pure speculation could be that one of them fell over trying to get bait from the bait bucket tied to the side of the boat, in the water. The other jumped in to save the first and had trouble himself," Peoples said. "But we don't know."

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