NEWS | Oct. 30, 2018

Coast Guard Responds to Report of Sinking Vessel off Ewa Beach, Oahu

By Petty Officer 3rd Class Matthew West

HONOLULU, Hawaii -- The Coast Guard responded to a report of a sinking charter-fishing vessel off Ewa Beach, Sunday.

A Station Honolulu 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew was able to evacuate the three crewmembers aboard and is currently bringing them back to Sand Island. Six passengers on the charter boat transferred to two other good Samaritan vessels. There are no reports of injury.

“This is exactly the type of situation our crews train for,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Chad Chao, a watchstander at Coast Guard Sector Honolulu. “It was through their dedication and professionalism the response team was able to get on scene and provide assistance so quickly.”

At 2:16 p.m., Sector Honolulu watchstanders received a distress call over Channel 16 from the master of the 41-foot charter boat Wild Bunch reporting the vessel was taking on water. The RB-M crew launched immediately to render assistance.

Two other vessels, the Strikeology, and Maggie Joe, were nearby and responded to the distress call. Their crews evacuated the six passengers while the Wild Bunch crew tried to dewater the boat.

At 2:38 p.m., the RB-M crew arrived on scene and passed a portable dewatering pump to the crew of the Wild Bunch. When the pump proved ineffective against the flooding the Wild Bunch crew evacuated to the RB-M.

The Wild Bunch was last seen submerged and drifting. The Coast Guard issued a Hazard to Navigation Broadcast Notice to Mariners. All mariners in the area are advised to use caution and keep a sharp lookout to avoid a collision. The cause of the sinking is under investigation.

A salvage company has been hired by the owner to retrieve the vessel. The maximum pollution potential is reportedly 250 gallons of diesel fuel, 32 quarts of oil and two marine batteries.

The weather at the time of the distress call was winds of 15 mph and seas of 5 feet.