Maui News

Update (Photos): Coast Guard Rescues Man from Disabled Rowboat off Maui

November 7, 2017, 2:49 PM HST
* Updated November 8, 3:18 PM
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Update Nov. 8, 2017

Ruihn Yu’s 18-foot vessel being towed by Coast Guard. PC: US Coast Guard

The Coast Guard rescued a 32-year-old Chinese national from his disabled ocean rowboat approximately 35 miles northeast of Maui on Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017.

Coast Guard officials say Ruihn Yu was reportedly conducting a trans-Pacific voyage from California to port calls in China and Taiwan when he suffered communication failures and a damaged rudder aboard his 18-foot vessel.

The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Oliver Berry (WPC 1124), a 154-foot fast response cutter stationed in Honolulu, responded and towed the vessel about a mile off Kahului Harbor where they passed the tow over to a 29-foot Response Boat-Small crew from Coast Guard Station Maui to bring the rowboat into the harbor.

“It’s always a good feeling to save someone at sea, and yesterday was no different,” said Lt. j.g. Peter Driscoll, executive officer Coast Guard Cutter Oliver Berry. “We appreciate the close collaboration between Coast Guard Sector Honolulu, Air Station Barbers Point and Station Maui. This was Oliver Berry’s first significant search and rescue case and we’re pleased to have had a positive impact. We were able to assist Mr. Yu and he can now attempt repairs and completion of his voyage safely.”

Ruihn Yu’s 18-foot vessel. PC: US Coast Guard

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Watchstanders at Sector Honolulu first learned of Yu’s situation at 8:16 a.m. Tuesday, via a relayed call from Coast Guard Sector San Francisco stating a friend of Yu’s reported him in a potentially distressed situation due to a text message received from Yu on a two-way satellite communication device.

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Watchstanders launched an HC-130 Hercules airplane aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point to the scene who established communication with Yu by dropping him a VHF radio. He relayed his concerns to the aircrew, but stated he was in no immediate danger.

Yu reportedly departed California on June 9 for his voyage.

The Coast Guard says Yu plans to stay in Maui until repair parts and a new Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon are delivered so he can effect repairs and continue his voyage to his final destination of Australia.

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Weather on scene was reported as east winds at 17 mph with 3 to 5-foot seas and 10 miles of visibility.

Original Post from Nov. 7, 2017

Maui Now Stock Photo

The Coast Guard responded to a report of a disabled ocean rowboat with one person aboard approximately 35 miles northeast of Maui on Tuesday.

The Coast Guard says Ruihn Yu, a 32-year-old male Chinese national, was conducting a trans-Pacific voyage from Richmond, CA, to China and Taiwan in his 18-foot vessel when he experienced communication failures as well as a damaged rudder.

The Coast Guard Cutter Oliver Berry (WPC 1124), a 154-foot fast response cutter homeported in Honolulu, is currently towing the vessel to Kahului.

Watchstanders at Sector Honolulu first learned of Yu’s situation at 8:16 a.m., when a call from Coast Guard Sector San Francisco stated a friend of Yu’s reported him in a potentially distressed situation due to a text message received from Yu on a two-way satellite communication device.

Coast Guard Sector Honolulu command center watchstanders issued an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast requesting mariners in the area remain vigilant and at 8:35 a.m., and launched an HC-130 Hercules airplane aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point to the scene.

Upon arrival an hour later, the aircrew dropped a VHF radio to Yu. He relayed his concerns to the aircrew, but stated he was in no immediate danger and does not have any health issues.

Yu reportedly departed Richmond on June 9 for his voyage.

The Coast Guard says weather on scene is reported as east winds at 17 mph with 3 to 5-foot seas and 10 miles of visibility.

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