KAWELA, MOLOKAI – At 4:44 p.m. Friday afternoon, firefighters on Molokai responded to a boat that reportedly huli (overturned) in waters off of Kawela in East Molokai.
With rough ocean conditions and tradewinds blowing at a brisk 30 – 35 mph, Maui Fire Department firefighters decided to quickly launch the Air-1 helicopter to help locate the distressed vessel. Two fire department jet skis also assisted in searching for the reported vessel.
Crews eventually made contact with a woman who said her friend was trying to bring a one-man outrigger canoe with a broken ama (outrigger) back to shore. She and a male friend were making a downwind run when the ama broke loose on her canoe. The man gave her his canoe and told her to make it to shore and call for help. When Air-1 arrived, the man was nearly back to shore and gave them the “thumbs up” sign that he was alright.
The man and woman are Molokai residents.