Coast Guard Plucks Mariner from Sinking Vessel Within Minutes

HONOLULU – Coast Guard crewmembers from Air Station Barbers Point today rescued a local mariner minutes after he reported his boat sinking about four miles southwest of Molokai. The master of the vessel called the Coast Guard Sector Honolulu radio watchstander on VHF-FM channel 16 radio at 2:47 p.m. reporting his 12-foot boat was taking on water. Two HH-65 rescue helicopters and crews and the Coast Guard Cutter Galveston Island and crew were diverted from routine patrols to assist.

Coast Guard rescue helicopter crews were on scene within 13 minutes of the initial distress call to pluck the man from the sinking vessel. The survivor was wearing his personal flotation vest when he was rescued from the boat.

The helicopter crew lowered a rescue basket to the man for him to climb in and be hoisted back into the helicopter. Once the survivor was onboard, the helicopter and crew returned to Air Station Barbers Point where an awaiting ambulance further transported the man to a local hosptial for medical evaluation.

“This mariner actually saved himself,” said Lt.j.g. Peter Gavin, a search and rescue specialist at Coast Guard Sector Honolulu. “He had on his lifejacket, first and foremost, then he contacted us on the marine-band radio to let us know where he was. We just came along and gave him a ride.”

The vessel was last reported still sinking about four miles off the southwest coast of Molokai. There is no report of pollution. Mariners are encouraged to keep a sharp lookout for the vessel or any debris.

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