Coast Guard suspends search for missing boater off Big Island

Hawaii-Pacific Coast Guard News
HONOLULU — The Coast Guard suspended the search Tuesday for a mariner missing from the 74-foot sailing vessel Hawaii Aloha.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the missing boater’s family and friends,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Stephen Woodbury, a duty watchstander at the Coast Guard Sector Honolulu command center. “We have exhausted all available resources in our efforts, but pending further developments, we have decided to suspend the search.”

The Coast Guard conducted an extensive search of the area, conducting 26 sorties, totaling 80 mission hours and covering approximately 676 square miles.

Involved in the search were two MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crews from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point, the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Kittiwake, an 87-foot Coastal Patrol Boat homeported in Honolulu and several crews from the Hawaii County Fire Department.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Honolulu received notification at 6:36 a.m., of a flare sighting Saturday, from the Hawaii County Fire Department. The flares were later confirmed as having been fired by the crew of the 74-foot sailing vessel, Hawaii Aloha, who abandoned ship into a life raft. Four of the five boaters aboard the Hawaii Aloha were found in the life raft and rescued by the fire department. The vessel subsequently grounded and one crew member was reported missing.

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