Mariner missing since Dec. 18 located safe days after search ends

14th Coast Guard District NewsHONOLULU – A mariner missing since Dec. 18 on a voyage from Kauai to Oahu has been located after being blown off course and arriving safely at Honokohau Harbor on the Big Island, Sunday.

Search and rescue watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Honolulu received notification from Ira Foreman’s ex-wife that he had contacted her via cell phone at approximately 6:30 p.m. Saturday. Foreman informed her that he was blown off course by strong winds during his transit from Kauai to Oahu, but was never in any distress.

An aircrew piloting an HC-130 Hercules airplane from Air Station Barbers Point was launched in an attempt to verify the report and establish communications with Foreman at 10:19 p.m. Saturday. Watchstanders were able to triangulate his location based on his call. Shortly after midnight, crewmembers identified a vessel fitting the description of Foreman’s 36-foot sailboat, but were unable to establish communications.

At 8 a.m. Sunday, Coast Guard watchstanders contacted Foreman on his cell phone. He reported his location as 20 miles west of Kealakekua, Big Island. Foreman arrived in Honokohau Harbor at 3 p.m.

The four-day search for Foreman was suspended Thursday after covering more than 209,000 square miles.

“We are eager to meet with Mr. Foreman to find some answers about this very challenging case,” said Capt. Joanna Nunan, commander of Sector Honolulu.

The Coast Guard recommends all mariners file a float plan prior to any voyage. A float plan provides details of the intended voyage, which can be passed to rescuers if a vessel fails to arrive as scheduled. The Coast Guard also recommends mariners carry essential safety equipment to include VHF radios, flares, an Electronic Position Indicating Radio Beacon and lifejackets as maritime accidents can occur quickly and without warning.

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