Flares prompt rescue of sailboat aground off Waikiki

Coast Guard District 14 NewsHONOLULU – Two mariners are safe after their sailboat ran aground and they fired two distress flares approximately 400 yards off Fort DeRussy at approximately 6:40 p.m., Monday.

The Star of Honolulu contacted watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Honolulu via VHF channel 16 after spotting two red flares. Two nearby 25-foot Response Boat-Small crews from Marine Safety and Security Team Honolulu diverted to investigate. The Honolulu Fire Department also responded with a rescue boat, a fire engine and their Air One helicopter.

The catamaran Mai Tai also responded and located the 27-foot sailing vessel Bolo Bolo aground on the reef. The Mai Tai was able to tow the vessel off the reef. The sailboats propeller was damaged in the grounding and an MSST RB-S towed the Bolo Bolo crew into the Ali Wai Harbor. There was no pollution reported as a result of the grounding.

The Coast Guard recommends all mariners have safety equipment aboard their vessel to include flares, VHF radio and lifejackets. Flares are an inexpensive and highly visible distress signal.

MSSTs are Coast Guard anti-terrorism teams established to protect local maritime assets, such as ports and harbors. MSSTs were created under the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002, MTSA in direct response to the terrorist attacks on 11 Sept. 2001. MSSTs provide quick response and are capable of rapid nationwide deployment via air, ground or sea transportation in response to changing threat conditions and evolving Maritime Homeland Security mission requirements.

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