COAST GUARD RESCUES FREE DIVER OFF LANAI

January 27, 2009, 8:29 AM HST · Updated January 27, 8:45 AM
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The U.S. Coast Guard rescued a free diver from shores off Lanai yesterday.  52-year-old Bruno Ambay had been reported missing Monday morning by friends who had been free diving with him about four miles off Manele Bay.  Ambay was spotted swimming along a rocky shoreline area about two hours later, and was hoisted by helicopter to safety.

Authorities say the man’s 15-foot Boston whaler vessel had lost power offshore and was towed back to Manele Bay by crews from the Maui Fire Department’s rescue boat.  Coast Guard search and rescue planners in a 24-hour command center in Honolulu launched the search using crews aboard the HH-65 helicopter from Air Station Barbers Point and aboard a 47-foot motor lifeboat and 25-foot small boat from Station Maui. The air crew hoisted Ambay aboard and then flew to Manele Bay to transfer him to a waiting Maui County Emergency Medical Services crew.  Also on scene was a MFD rescue helicopter.

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“This was a great example of a quick response to a quick call for help,” said Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Jared Friedman-Torres, a search and rescue controller in Honolulu who planned the search. “His diving partners knew something was wrong, gave us a call and we got there quickly and then partnered with Maui County EMS to get him to safety,” said Friedman-Torres.

(Posted by Wendy Osher © 2009)

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