Maui News

VIDEO: Mariner Adrift off Maui Rescued in Waters Near Kahoʻolawe

December 13, 2014, 11:41 PM HST
* Updated December 14, 2:22 PM
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[flashvideo file=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTosq5lsa_Q /] By Wendy Osher

A mariner aboard a disabled vessel was rescued in waters off of Kahoʻolawe on Saturday night after nearly 10 hours adrift at sea off Maui, coast guard officials said.

The incident was reported at around 10:15 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 13, 2014, by the man’s friend, who learned of the trouble via a cell phone conversation with the mariner, according to a coast guard press release.

Coast guard officials say an approximate position was determined using information from the cell phone call.

Kahoʻolawe rescue. Image courtesy US Coast Guard, Hawaiʻi.

Kahoʻolawe rescue. Image courtesy US Coast Guard, Hawaiʻi.

After nine hours of searching, a coast guard air crew reportedly located the man at about 7:06 p.m., about 46 miles southwest of Kahoʻolawe, when members noticed him waving a flashlight from the 19-foot boat.  The coast guard described conditions on scene saying seas were observed at more than 10 feet and winds were blowing at 40 mph.

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According to department reports, the aircraft crew notified a coast guard helicopter and rescue swimmer who was lowered to the mariner, and safely hoisted the man for transport to the Kahului Airport.

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Coast guard officials say the man was safely transferred to Maui in stable condition at around 8:30 p.m. to an awaiting medic crew at the airport.

According to agency reports, the vessel remains adrift, and a notification has been broadcast to mariners advising them of the hazard to navigation.

Agency officials took the opportunity to remind mariners to be prepared for accidents and emergencies by ensuring they have a VHF marine band radio, flares, and life jacket aboard their vessels.

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Assisting in the search was an HC-130 Hercules airplane and an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Air Station Barbers Point; a 45-foot response boat from Station Maui; and a Coast Guard Cutter that was diverted to the location.

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