Seven mariners rescued after vessel sinks off Oahu

Hawaii-Pacific Coast Guard NewsHONOLULU – Coast Guard helicopter and small boat crews rescued seven mariners, whose sailing vessel sank 29 miles off the coast of Kaena Point on Oahu at approximately 3:43 a.m., Monday.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Honolulu command center and Joint Rescue Coordination Center Honolulu received a mayday call and a distress signal from an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon aboard the 30-foot sailing vessel Cowabunga. During the mayday call, the vessel operator reported the boat started taking on water during their transit to Oahu after a weekend sailing race to Kauai, at approximately 12:40 a.m.

The operator reported that all seven persons aboard were experienced mariners, wearing lifejackets and had abandoned ship at approximately 1:33 a.m.

Coast Guardsmen aboard a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium from Station Honolulu, a 47-foot Motor Life Boat from Station Kauai, and the 110-foot Coast Guard Cutter Galveston Island responded to assist. Coast Guard aircrews piloting an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter and an HC-130 Hercules airplane from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point also responded. The crew aboard the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ship Oscar Elton Sette also diverted to assist.

The Dolphin aircrew arrived on scene, lowered a rescue swimmer with life raft and hoisted four of the mariners into the aircraft, at 1:50 a.m. The four mariners were flown to Lihue Airport while the rescue swimmer and the three remaining crewmembers waited in the life raft for the MLB crew, who arrived on scene at approximately 3:43 a.m. The three crewmembers and the rescue swimmer were taken aboard and transported safely ashore to Nawiliwili Harbor.

None of the mariners have reported any injuries.

The Coast Guard also put out an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast, informing any other vessels in the area of the situation.

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