Coast Guard rescues disabled boater

U.S. Coast Guard Photo

HONOLULU- Coast Guard crewmembers rescued an overdue mariner aboard a 19-foot ski boat four miles south of Kewalo Basin, Wednesday.

The boater’s spouse contacted the Coast Guard after searching the area in a small recreational vessel. The husband notified the Coast Guard that he had been in contact with his wife via cell phone and lost communication with her at 6 p.m.

Search and rescue coordinators from the Coast Guard Sector Honolulu Command Center requested assistance from AT&T to identify the first cellular tower used in his wife’s last phone call.

“By using the last known location, Coast Guard rescue coordinators used the Search and Rescue Optimal Planning System (SAROPS) to project the boater’s likely position and determine a precise search pattern,” said Lt. Cmdr. Matthew Derrenbacher, chief of the Incident Management Division at Sector Honolulu.

A 45-foot Response Boat Medium rescue crew from Coast Guard Station Honolulu was deployed to Kewalo Basin and commenced searching with a Forward Looking Infrared Camera and illumination flares. At approximately 8:30 p.m. the rescue crew sighted the disabled vessel and conducted a boarding to verify the safety of the person aboard. The vessel and boater was then released and towed to safety by her husband.

SAROPS is a comprehensive electronic search and rescue planning system used in the planning and execution of almost all search and rescue cases in and around the United States. It creates search patterns that provide local rescue assets a better sense of the missing mariner’s possible location based on currents and weather.

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