3 survive after sail boat sinks in the Pacific

14th Coast Guard District NewsHONOLULU – The Coast Guard coordinated the rescue of two adults and one child aboard a disabled sailboat which sank 280 miles northeast of Hilo, Hawaii Wednesday.

The crew of the 38-foot sailboat Liahona contacted the Coast Guard Cutter Kiska Tuesday at 5:26 p.m. after becoming disabled in seas of 6-to-13 feet and winds of 34 mph. The vessel reportedly suffered damage to its top forestay and it’s engine overheated. The crew attempted to rig a makeshift sail but completely lost its mast in the extreme conditions.

Coast Guard Joint Rescue Coordination Center Honolulu contacted the 800-foot container ship Horizon Reliance to request assistance under the Automated Mutual Assistance Vessel Rescue Program. The Horizon Reliance was 149 miles northeast of the Liahona’s location.

At 1:30 a.m. Wednesday morning the Horizon Reliance reached the disable vessel. As the Horizon Reliance approached the vessel a swell caused the sailboat to capsize and sink, throwing the three passengers into the sea.

The Horizon Reliance maneuvered and lowered a Jacobs’s ladder to conduct the rescue. A 29-year-old man was rescued at 2:30 a.m. by the crew of the Horizon Reliance, but the others, a 32-year-old man and 9-year-old boy, drifted away. Both were rescued at 3:20 am. All passengers aboard the sailboat were wearing lifejackets with strobe lights, which enabled rescuers to keep them in sight.

All three rescued are reportedly in good condition and will return to Honolulu Friday aboard the Horizon Reliance.

The Liahona was traveling from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico to Hilo.

The Kiska is a 110-foot patrol boat based in Hilo.

AMVER, sponsored by the U.S. Coast Guard, is a unique, computer-based, and voluntary global ship reporting system used worldwide by search and rescue authorities to arrange for assistance to persons in distress at sea. With AMVER, rescue coordinators can identify participating ships in the area of distress and divert the best-suited ship or ships to respond.

For more information about AMVER visit www.amver.com.

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