Coast Guard and Hawaii County Fire Department search for missing boater off Big Island

Hawaii-Pacific Coast Guard News
HONOLULU — The Coast Guard is supporting the Hawaii County Fire Department in the search for a missing passenger from a grounded sailboat near Kaupuleu, Hawai’i, Sunday.

The Coast Guard and the Hawaii County Fire Department are searching for a possible person in the water off of the Big Island, Hawaii, Jan. 3, 2015. The 74-foot sailing vessel, Hawaii Aloha ran hard aground with five persons on board. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

The Coast Guard and the Hawaii County Fire Department are searching for a possible person in the water off of the Big Island, Hawaii, Jan. 3, 2015. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Honolulu received notification at 6:36 a.m., of a flare sighting Saturday, from the Hawaii County Fire Department. The flares were later confirmed as having been fired by the crew of the 74-foot sailing vessel, Hawaii Aloha, who abandoned ship into a life raft. Four of the five boaters aboard the Hawaii Aloha were found in the life raft and rescued by the fire department. The vessel subsequently grounded and one crew member remains missing.

An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point and the Coast Guard Cutter Kittiwake, an 87-foot Coastal Patrol Boat homeported in Honolulu were launched to search the area Saturday.

It is unknown if the missing individual remains aboard the grounded vessel. Local fire department first responders plan to conduct a search of the interior of the vessel Sunday.

The Coast Guard, state and local first responder agencies regularly work together to contribute resources and expertise in support of response efforts throughout the Main Hawaiian Islands.

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