Coast Guard Rescues 4 from Overturned Vessel

Hawaii – The Coast Guard along with a good samaritan saved four mariners who were in the water two miles north of Hale’iwa Small Boat Harbor today.

The Coast Guard command received a 406 radio beacon signal around 8:48 a.m. this morning. Quick to respond, a Coast Guard HH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew on a training flight diverted to the area after picking up a rescue swimmer at Air Station Barbers Point.

After arriving on scene, the helicopter crew didn’t see anyone in the search location given. The Coast Guard helicopter crew intercepted a transmission from a nearby plane stating there were mariners in the water one mile from the rescue helicopter location. With that valuable information the rescue helicopter immediately responded to arrive on the mariner’s location.

When on scene, the rescue helicopter crew spotted two males clinging onto the overturned 23-foot motor vessel Kahihau and a male and female clinging on to debris in the rough ten-foot swells. None of the mariners had life jackets on.

The rescue swimmer aboard the rescue helicopter decided to go in the water and pick up the mariners who were clinging to drifting debris first. After the two mariners were lifted, the rescue swimmer stayed behind to aid the mariners clinging to the over turned vessel.

The helicopter crew safely transported the two mariners to Hale’iwa Small Boat Harbor were emergency medical services and the fire department were waiting. The rescue helicopter then went back on scene to lift the other two mariners to safety and transport them to the harbor.

The mariners reported the vessel started taking on water when large waves came over the back of the vessel. The crew couldn’t dewater the vessel fast enough.

All members of the Kahihau crew are reported to be in good condition.

The new and improved 406 Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) did not emit an exact location of the vessel. But, with the new technology of the 406 EPIRB each signal holds valuable contact information which allowed the Coast Guard to contact family members and receive the Kahihau’s float plan (a description of where the vessel is going). Unfortunately, the crew had decided not to follow that plan.

The plane that helped the Coast Guard crew find the mariners was a student and instructor plane from Flight School Hawai’i. The student spotted the vessel and reported it to the Coast Guard command saving valuable search time.

There is no report of pollution from the vessel at this time.

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