HONOLULU — The search continues Sunday for a missing boater who placed a mayday call Thursday saying his vessel was taking on water and in danger of sinking 46 miles west of Kailua-Kona.
A Navy P-3 Orion airplane is currently searching. A Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew will relieve the Orion at 3 p.m. and continue searching throughout the night.
Crews have searched 7,798 square miles. Comparatively the total square mileage of the Hawaiian Islands is 6,418. Collectively, more than 50 sorties have been conducted by participating aircraft. During the course of those flights Coast Guard HC-130 crews deployed a self-locating datum marker buoy to gather critical information for the development of search areas.
To calculate search areas in the complex currents of the Hawaiian Islands, watchstanders use the Search and Rescue Optimal Planning System . SAROPS is a software system that uses simulated particles generated by users in a graphical interface. These particles are then influenced by environmental data to provide information on search object drift. Using information on a point of origin and local currents, it calculates the most likely area to find a person in the water.
Sixty-seven-year-old Ron Ingraham is believed to be the sole person aboard the 25-foot sailing vessel Malia which departed Kaunakakai Harbor, Molokai, to Manele Bay, Lanai.
A friend of Ingraham called Coast Guard Sector Honolulu Command Center Friday and sited Tuesday as the last time he spoke with him.
Watchstanders at Sector Honolulu Command Center received a mayday call over VHF radio channel 16 at 8:03 a.m. Thursday. Ingraham reported flooding on his boat and provided a GPS position approximately 46 miles west of Kailua-Kona near Alenuihaha Channel before communications were lost.
Current on scene weather conditions are 35-mile per hour winds with eight to 15-foot seas.