Coast Guard Cutter Galveston Island Comes to the Aid of Disabled Fishing Boat

HONOLULU — The crew of the 110-foot U.S. Coast Guard cutter Galveston Island came to the aid of five people aboard a disabled fishing boat off Kaneohe Thursday.

The 18-member crew of the cutter left Honolulu late Wednesday evening to respond to a call from the master of a 40-foot vessel eight miles east of Kaneohe. The fishing vessel’s master reported being disabled and adrift near a state fish aggregation device (FAD) buoy.

The fishing vessel’s master called the Coast Guard through another vessel nearby, which had a stronger radio. The Coast Guard was notified at 7 p.m. and issued a marine assistance request broadcast (MARB) over VHF marine band radio channel 16.

The fishing vessel reported the water to be too deep to anchor and that despite having enough fuel aboard could not re-start its engine. The decision to launch the Galveston Island was made from the Coast Guard’s 24-hour Honolulu Harbor command center after the MARB went unanswered and the weather began deteriorating.

The Galveston Island crew reached the scene at 11:27 p.m., but a growing sea state and direction of the seas led the Coast Guard to decide to wait for daylight to safely begin a tow.

The Galveston Island safely returned the vessel and five passengers to shore in Kaneohe by 1:30 p.m. Thursday.

“The weather definitely played a factor in our decision to wait to begin the tow,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Lee McMillan, the Galveston Island’s operations petty officer. “We were able to communicate with the fishing vessel crew and wait for conditions to be safe enough to begin the tow evolution. We were glad to be able to help them back to shore.”

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