HONOLULU — The Coast Guard rescued a mariner aboard the damaged sailing vessel Hula Hoop off Kauai, Sunday.
A Coast Guard 45-foot Response Boat-Medium from Coast Guard Station Kauai towed the 28-foot sailing catamaran to Port Allen after it was located by an HC-130 Hercules aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point.
“This case illustrates the importance of carrying survival equipment aboard your boat and being prepared for emergencies,” said Chief Petty Officer Jerrod Sneller of Coast Guard Sector Honolulu. “An emergency position indicating radio beacon can be very useful during long distance transits. Unlike VHF radios with limited range the EPIRB connects to satellites and delivers it’s signal in seconds, alerting emergency responders to possible distress very quickly and providing your location.”
At 5:08 p.m. Saturday Coast Guard watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Honolulu received a mayday call from the master of the Hula Hoop, over VHF-FM Channel 16, reporting that the vessel’s mast had been destroyed in a storm and he had been adrift for five days. He had finally drifted close enough to land to establish communications. Additionally he reported he was the only one aboard and was running low of water and power.
The watchstanders issued an urgent marine information broadcast and directed the launch of the Hercules and RB-M crews. The Hercules crew located the vessel about 23 miles south of Port Allen and vectored in the RB-M crew who arrived ons scene about 33 minutes after departing the station and took the vessel in tow.
The master of the vessel did not require medical attention. After reaching port roughly 30 minutes past midnight Sunday, prior to turning the vessel back over to the master, the crew conducted a post search and rescue boarding and found everything to be in order.
Weather conditions on scene at the time of the tow were reportedly 15 mph winds and seas up to 5 feet.