2 Fishermen Rescued From Capsized Boat off Moloka‘i

June 8, 2018, 7:02 AM HST · Updated June 8, 7:02 AM
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The US Coast Guard rescued two fishermen off Molokaʻi after their vessel reportedly capsized, Thursday afternoon.

The mariners had departed from Kaunakakai Harbor on Thursday morning, but encountered trouble when a wave hit and overturned their blue and white 18-foot recreational vessel.

They were able to swim out from under the boat but unable to call for help. Authorities say one of the men swam back under the boat to manually activate the emergency beacon, leading to their swift rescue.

Watchstanders at the Honolulu Joint Response Coordination Center received the alert at 12:06 p.m. and were on scene at 1:32 p.m. The two men were hoisted out of the water and returned to Molokaʻi.

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Coast Guard officials say the beacon allowed for prompt notification and provided information on where to start searching, sooner than if they received an overdue report. Authorities say the men were saved thanks to the emergency beacon.

“If these men did not have an EPIRB, they might not be coming home tonight,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Shamica Titus, search and rescue planner, JRCC Honolulu. “This action can save hours, maybe days, in a search and make the difference between life and death at sea.”

A 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew from Station Maui and an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Air Station Barbers Point responded to the incident.

Weather on scene was reported as 25 mph east winds with 4-foot seas.

In 2017, within the United States and its surrounding waters, more than 275 people owe their rescue to the use of 406 MHz EPIRBs and NOAA satellites, which are part of the international search and rescue satellite-aided tracking system. This system uses a sprawling network of spacecraft to detect and locate distress signals quickly from emergency beacons aboard boats, aircraft and handheld personal locator beacons.

•An EPIRB is a device that is designed to transmit a distress signal if you get into trouble. No matter where you are in the world, an EPIRB sends a signal to emergency responders through a satellite system called COPAS-SARSAT.

• This system uses a sprawling network of spacecraft to detect and locate distress signals quickly from emergency beacons aboard boats, aircraft and handheld personal locator beacons.

• Always ensure you are conducting self-tests according to the manufacturer’s instructions for your EPIRB or PLB. Each year the majority of false alerts occur during testing and maintenance.

• Registration is valid for two years; owners need to revalidate every two years.

• Ensure all registration and emergency contact information is up to date. Updated beacon information can decrease rescue response time during distress situations.

• If you realize you have accidentally activated your beacon, call the Coast Guard at 855-406-USCG (8724) with your beacon’s hex ID ready to cancel the false alert. This action helps responders who would otherwise be out looking for you during an actual emergency.

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