Coast Guard Cutter Kittiwake crew rescues disabled mariners

14th Coast Guard District News
HONOLULU – Crewmembers aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Kittiwake are towing a disabled vessel located approximately 118 miles northeast of Maui, Saturday.

Coast Guardsmen in the Joint Rescue Coordination Center received a satellite phone call from a crewmember aboard the 46-foot sailing vessel Eleu, who reported a loss of steering, Friday. The Eleu crew was transiting from Marina del Rey, Los Angeles, Calif. to Ko Olina pier on Oahu. An aircrew aboard an HC-130 Hercules aircraft launched from Air Station Barbers Point at 5 p.m. and the crew of the Kittiwake was deployed at approximately 5:17 p.m. from Base Support Unit Honolulu, Friday.

The aircrew arrived at the vessel’s location and confirmed that the crew, three males and one female, were in good physical condition and had food, water and safety equipment aboard, including an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon, at 5:45 p.m. Friday.

The aircrew stayed on the scene for approximately two hours to maintain communications with the Eleu crew before returning to Oahu. Watchstanders at Sector Honolulu operations center maintained a 30-minute communications schedule with the Eleu crew.

The Kittiwake crew arrived on scene at approximately 5 a.m. Saturday and is towing the disabled vessel to Lahaina Harbor, Maui.

“This is a good example of why the Coast Guard encourages mariners to maintain functioning communications equipment aboard their vessel,” said Lt. Walner W. Alvarez, Sector Honolulu command duty officer. “We also encourage mariners to file a float plan with a responsible friend or family member or a person who will follow-up if they don’t check in or return as planned. The plan should include details of where they are going with the route clearly identified, how long they’ll be out and when they plan on returning.”

Weather on scene was reported to include 20-knot winds coming from the east with seven-foot waves, Friday.

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