Search continues off coast of Saipan for man who fell in the water Sunday


CNMI authorities are continuing their search for a man who was swept out to sea off the coast of Saipan Sunday.

Authorities have identified the missing man as Honorio Ricky Encabo.

He is reported to have slipped and fallen into the waters at the infinity pool in Asteo, Saipan just before 5 p.m. Sunday afternoon. The current dragged him out to sea.

Search teams from both the CNMI Department of Public Safety (DPS) and the Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services (DFEMS) conducted a search of the waters along the cliff line. The search was later called off at 7:05 p.m.  due to low light and to allow the rescue crews to make it safely back to the marina.

The search resumed Monday morning. The U.S. Coast Guard and Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 25 joined the search deploying a cutter and a helicopter from Guam.

The CNMI Division of Fish & Wildlife also launched a boat to assist in the search for Encabo.

Late Monday afternoon CNMI police and fire scuba divers went into the water near the entrance to the pool and they recovered clothing that was later confirmed to belong to Encabo.

One piece of clothing was noticed by a rescue diver, but the diver was unable to retrieve it because a strong current was pulling it into an underwater cavern.

The search continued again Tuesday with the USCG cutter Sequoia joining a smaller CNMI Port Authority vessel, a local fisherman’s boat and a police jet ski.

About 9:00 a.m. Tuesday a volunteer diver spotted and retrieved pieces of clothing and footwear from the entrance of the pool.

Through-out the day police and fire rescue teams sent multiple swimmers and divers into the water throughout the area neighboring the infinity pool, but Encabo was not found.