Coast Guard Rescues 6 From Capsized Canoe

HONOLULU – Coast Guard crews rescued six people from rough seas Saturday after their outrigger canoe overturned 14 miles south of Maui at approximately 3 a.m.

Search and rescue coordinators from Coast Guard Sector Honolulu received a distress call from the canoeists’ hand-held VHF radio at approximately 3:15 a.m. Coordinators then relayed the information to search and rescue crews.

Coast Guard crews from Air Station Barbers Point, Station Maui and the Coast Guard cutter Ahi immediately responded to the incident; all six were hoisted aboard the helicopter at 5:48 a.m.

When the rescue helicopter crew arrived on scene in the Alenuihaha Channel, the six canoeists used flashlights to signal the rescue crew. The Coast Guard rescue swimmer, Petty Officer 2nd Class Kris Grimm, was lowered into the water and sent each canoeist up to the helicopter in a rescue basket. The canoeists were then transferred to an awaiting emergency medical services team at the Kona International Airport in Keahole.

“The crew was well prepared with life jackets and flashlights,” said Grimm.

“They did the right thing,” said HH-65 Dolphin rescue helicopter co-pilot Dave Maccaferri.

Maccaferri said the rescue “was like clockwork” because all six canoeists employed life-saving techniques such as wearing life jackets, using their Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB), shining flashlights toward the approaching helicopter, and tying themselves together.

All canoeists were reported to be in good condition.

Maccaferri said he encountered 7-foot seas and 25-knot winds once on scene.

Grimm said a life raft was attached to the partially-submerged canoe so it could be retrieved at a later point.

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One Comment

  1. Dan says:

    In Hawai’i we call them “paddlers”. But what were they doing in the ocean at 3AM? Would like to hear the rest of the story. And, who they are! Mahalo!