Coast Guard Station Honolulu rescues 2 sinking fishermen

HONOLULU — The Coast Guard rescued two fishermen from a sinking boat five miles south of Oahu, Monday.

The captain’s wife contacted Coast Guard watchstanders at 8:30 a.m. Monday and reported her husband’s fishing vessel the Iwalani was taking on water, disabled and adrift.

Coast Guard Station Honolulu launched a 45-foot Response Boat-medium rescue crew who arrived on scene at 9 a.m., Monday to provide assistance. The rescue crew towed the Iwalani to the public dock at Keehi marina.

The vessel is not in danger of sinking. The fisherman hired PENCO to remove all the fuel and hazmat from the vessel. The Coast Guard incident management division is monitoring the situation.

“The Iwalani didn’t have a working radio or GPS on board,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Ekaji Lee, operations petty officer for Station Honolulu. “Having a cell phone is good back-up plan, but it shouldn’t be your only means of communication.”

The Coast Guard strongly recommends that all boaters have a VHF radio, Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon, take a recreational boating safety course and obtain a vessel safety check. Vessel safety checks are conducted by local Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotillas.

“We highley recommend that all boaters file a float plan by simply letting a reliable loved one or friend know where you are going, when you are going to be back, and what kind of vessel you have,” said Bob Coster, Sector Honolulu search and rescue coordinator during this case.

Also be aware of weather and water conditions; never boat or paddle alone.

“Even if you pay careful attention to safety, dangerous mechanical problems can crop up on the best-maintained boat,  said Petty Officer 2nd Class Justin Sickler, a boarding team officer during this case. “That’s why the Coast Guard recommends all recreational boaters take advantage of the free vessel safety check program.”

Additional course information is also available through the BOAT/U.S. Foundation at 1-800-336-BOAT. For additional boating safety tips, boaters can access the Coast Guard’s Boating Safety Web site at www.uscgboating.org.

Honolulu Police Department took the captain into custody for outstanding traffic warrants.

Boaters in distress may contact the Coast Guard in Honolulu, on VHF Channel 16 or 808-842-2600.

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