Coast Guard Rescues Five People From Water

HONOLULU – Coast Guard search and rescue crews today rescued five people from the water after their outrigger canoe at about 9 a.m. approximately two miles off Diamond Head.

A Good Samaritan vessel contacted the Coast Guard Sector Command Center Honolulu on VHF channel 16 that nine people from two outrigger canoes were in the water after the canoes became swamped.

The Coast Guard immediately diverted the Coast Guard Cutter Ahi and an HH-65 Dolphin helicopter and rescue crew from Air Station Barbers Point to the scene.

The rescue helicopter crew provided visual assistance from the air as the Ahi crew plucked five people from the water. The survivors are expected to be transferred to the Ala Wai Boat Harbor later today.

The remaining four people requested to stay with their canoe to attempt to salvage the vessel. A Honolulu Fire Department rescue boat and crew, along with an HFD rescue swimmer, are on scene assisting them at this time.

Weather on scene is reported as five- to seven-foot swells and 20 knot winds.

“We had a positive outcome in this rescue because of the combination of a quick thinking of a Good Samaritan and the great interagency teamwork between Coast Guard and Honolulu Fire Department,” said Lt. Jorge Valente, a search and rescue specialist at Coast Guard Sector Honolulu.

The Coast Guard always recommends that boaters wear a personal flotation device while on the water; and that the best way to contact the Coast Guard in an emergency is on VHF marine-band channel 16 — cell phones are a good back communications device but may not be as reliable off shore.

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