Coast Guard responds to report disabled row boat off Maui

Coast Guard Cutter Oliver Berry file photo by Lt. j.g. Peter Driscoll)

Coast Guard Cutter Oliver Berry file photo by Lt. j.g. Peter Driscoll)

HONOLULU — The Coast Guard responded to a report of a disabled ocean rowboat with one person aboard approximately 35 miles northeast of Maui, Tuesday.

Ruihn Yu, a 32-year-old male Chinese national, was conducting a trans-Pacific voyage from Richmond, California, to China and Taiwan in his 18-foot vessel when he experienced communication failures as well as a damaged rudder.

The Coast Guard Cutter Oliver Berry, a 154-foot fast response cutter homeported in Honolulu, is towing the vessel to Kahului, Maui.

Coast Guard Sector Honolulu command center watchstanders issued an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast requesting mariners in the area remain vigilant and at 8:35 a.m., launched an HC-130 Hercules airplane aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point to the scene.

Upon arrival an hour later, the aircrew dropped a VHF radio to Yu. He relayed his concerns to the aircrew, but stated he was in no immediate danger and does not have any health issues.

Watchstanders at Sector Honolulu first learned of Yu’s situation at 8:16 a.m., via a relayed call from Coast Guard Sector San Francisco stating a friend of Yu’s reported him in a potentially distressed situation due to a text message received from Yu on a two-way satellite communication device.

Yu reportedly departed Richmond June 9 on his voyage. Weather on scene is reported as east winds at 17 mph with 3 to 5-foot seas and 10 miles of visibility.

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