Search continues for missing mariner off Hawaii

14th Coast Guard District NewsHONOLULU – The Coast Guard and Navy continue to search for a recreational boater aboard a 36-foot sailboat who departed Kauai Dec. 17 and was expected to arrive on Oahu Dec. 18.

Coast Guard Sector Honolulu personnel were notified at 3:15 p.m. Saturday that 66 year-old Ira Foreman was missing. Foreman’s wife made the notification and explained that her husband departed Port Allen, Kauai late in the morning Dec. 17 and was expected to arrive at Keehi Lagoon, Oahu Dec. 18.

An HC-130 Hercules airplane search crew from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point and a U.S. Navy P-3 Orion airplane crew from Marine Corps Air Station Kaneohe Bay launched at 10 a.m. Tuesday to continue the search.

On Sunday watchstanders from Coast Guard Station Kauai conducted callouts and a boat from Coast Guard Station Honolulu conducted harbor checks along Ohau’s south shore. Since Sunday 10 searches were conducted by Hercules crews and one search by the Orion crew. The search area has expanded 200 miles north, 300 miles south and 400 miles west of Kauai and has covered approximately 178,000 square miles. Search crews plan to search through the night.

To assist in the search, Coast Guard watchstanders are utilizing the Search and Rescue Optimal Planning System to determine the search area with the highest probability for locating Foreman. SAROPS is a computer program which calculates environmental factors such as weather, wind speed and direction, current speed and direction and the size of the search object. From that data, a search area is calculated.

“We are using all available information to determine the sailboat’s location,” said Chief Petty Officer Michael Labine, Sector Honolulu command center supervisor. “We have partnered with the Navy using both Coast Guard C-130 and Navy P-3 aircraft to search the large area where the sailboat may have drifted in the past week and hopefully reunite Mr. Foreman with his family.”

Foreman’s wife reported he was sailing from American Samoa to Oahu but mistakenly arrived in Port Allen, Kauai. He remained aboard the vessel at anchor for a few days before departing for Oahu on Dec 17.

The sailboat Arcturus is described as having a white hull, white sails, no name on the transom and four portholes on both sides of the cabin. Forman reportedly has a VHF radio, cell phone and a personal locator beacon aboard the vessel.

Anyone with any information regarding Mr. Foreman’s whereabouts is urged to contact Sector Honolulu at 808-842-2600.

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