Kayaker in distress rescued off Molokai

Hawaii-Pacific Coast Guard NewsMAUI, Hawaii – Coast Guardsmen and members of the Maui County Police Department responded to kayakers in distress off the northwest coast of Moloka’i, near Kaluako’i Villas, at approximately 7 p.m. Saturday.

Coast Guard Sector Honolulu watchstanders received a call on VHF channel 16, reporting four kayakers in distress. The reporting party told watchstanders one of the kayaks was getting swamped with water while the other was getting swept out to sea. The reporting party, one of the kayakers, utilized a hand-held VHF radio to call for assistance.

An aircrew piloting an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point, the crew aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Ahi and a crew aboard a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium from Coast Guard Station Honolulu were sent to respond. The Dolphin aircrew located one of the kayakers and hoisted him into the helicopter. The other three were located safely ashore by members of the Maui County Police Department.

This case was successful due to the kayaker’s use of the VHF radio and a lifejacket. VHF radios provide the most reliable communications while on the water. The Coast Guard strongly recommends mariners purchase, maintain and carry a VHF radio aboard their vessels.

The Coast Guard also recommends mariners wear lifejackets at all times when aboard any type of watercraft. Lifejackets greatly increase changes of survival during an emergency.

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