NEWS | May 6, 2019

Coast Guard rescues 2 mariners off Diamond Head, Oahu

By Petty Officer 3rd Class Amanda Levasseur U.S. Coast Guard District 14 Hawaii Pacific

HONOLULU — Coast Guard crews rescued two mariners about nine miles southeast of Diamond Head, Saturday.

An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew located the two men in the water holding onto the hull of their 19-foot recreational vessel, Smooth C's. The aircrew hoisted the 30 and 36-year-old aboard and brought them back to Air Station Barbers Point. No emergency medical services were requested.

The two men were returning from a cancelled race in Molokai.

“The survivors had a personal EPIRB which ultimately allowed the crew to locate them and hoist to safety, saving their lives," said Lt. Issac Babcock, a Dolphin helicopter pilot. “Visibility was less than one mile with ceilings below 200 feet and heavy rain. The initial search proved unsuccessful."

At 10:10 a.m., watchstanders at the Coast Guard Sector Honolulu command center received a notification via radio, channel 16 VHF, from the master of the boat stating their vessel was taking on water and sinking.

This call prompted the launch of a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew from Coast Guard Station Honolulu and the Dolphin crew as well as an HC-130 Hercules airplane crew from Air Station Barbers Point to respond.

The RB-M crew remained on scene to gather any floating debris found, such as coolers or life jackets from the vessel.

Although the RB-M crew witnessed the vessel sink, a Safety Marine Information Broadcast has been issued as a precaution to alert any other mariners in the area to a possible hazard to navigation. There are no reports of pollution.

Weather on scene was reportedly winds of over 30 mph and seas up to 9 feet. A small craft advisory remains in effect through 6 p.m. Sunday for all main Hawaiian Islands.