NEWS | April 15, 2019

Coast Guard, Maui Fire Department Assist Vessel Taking on Water off Maui

By Petty Officer 3rd Class Matthew West U.S. Coast Guard District 14 Hawaii Pacific

HONOLULU, Hawaii -- The Coast Guard and Maui Fire Department assisted the crew of a 22-foot recreational vessel taking on water near Lahaina, Friday.

A Station Maui 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew and Maui Fire Department fire boat crew responded, assisting with dewatering and towed the vessel back to port. No injuries were reported.

“Once the RB-M arrived on scene two of our crewmembers transferred aboard and were able to control the flooding through the use of a P-6 dewatering pump,” said Mark Zienkiewicz, a Sector Honolulu search and rescue coordinator. “Our servicemembers constantly train on our damage control equipment and it is in cases like this where their dedication and experience pays off.”

At 7:20 a.m., Sector Honolulu watchstanders received a mayday call over Rescue 21 from the master of a recreational vessel taking on water off Maui. The master stated there were 10 boaters aboard and the weather was very rough. Maui County Dispatch also received a call from a passenger on the vessel who gave a GPS location 8 miles off Lahaina. The passenger stated everyone aboard was wearing personal floatation devices.

Sector Honolulu issued an Urgent Information Broadcast Notice to mariners and deployed the Station Maui RB-M crew, an Air Station Barbers Point MH-65 Dolphin helicopter and a HC-130 Hercules aircrews in response. The Maui Fire Department also launched the fire boat to assist. The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Ahi (WPB 87364) diverted from their patrol and the Coast Guard Cutter Oliver Berry (WPC 1124) crew was recalled to render aid.

The RB-M and fire boat crews arrived on-scene and were able to transfer eight passengers from the stricken vessel to the RB-M. Two servicemembers with the P-6 dewatering pump deployed onto the vessel and began damage control and dewatering.

Once the flooding was under control the RB-M crew put the stricken vessel in tow and brought them to Mala Boat Ramp where they were able to trailer the vessel out of the water.

While dewatering the vessel, a slight sheen was reported. Marine Safety Team Maui investigated and determined the sheen naturally dissipated and posed no threat to people or the environment.

The weather at the time of the incident was winds of 34 mph and seas up to 9 feet.