Float plan helps Coast Guard locate missing mariners near Molokai

C-130 Taking off from Barbers Point

USCG File Photo

HONOLULU – Three missing mariners were located by a Coast Guard helicopter south of Molokai, Tuesday.


The missing mariners filed a float plan before departing Oahu which allowed the Coast Guard to quickly locate the vessel and confirm they were not in distress.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Honolulu received a call from a family friend at approximately 4:30 a.m. reporting that the Felix, a white catamaran, with three people aboard, was overdue to arrive in Mala, Maui at 2 a.m. Tuesday. The mariners included a father and his two sons.

Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point launched an HC-130 Hercules aircraft and an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter to search for the overdue mariners aboard the 45-foot vessel.

At approximately 9:10 a.m., the Dolphin aircrew was able to make contact with the mariners and verify that everyone aboard was safe and there were no injuries. The vessel had diverted course and sailed along the south side of Molokai. Once it was verified that everyone aboard was safe, the mariners continued their course toward Maui.

The missing mariners filed a float plan with family friends which alerted them to a potential problem and provided key information for search crews. The Coast Guard highly recommends mariners file float plans with responsible friends, family, or the nearest harbormaster. A float plan should include the projected course, time of departure, arrival and return. If a vessel fails to return at the specified time the Coast Guard can be alerted to begin a search.

More information on float plans can be found at  http://www.floatplancentral.org/.


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