HONOLULU — The Coast Guard, Navy, and good Samaritans aboard the fishing vessel Capt. Kenneth coordinated the rescue of the sailing vessel Honey Cutter crew in the Pacific Ocean 402 miles northeast of Oahu Wednesday night.
The crew of the 77-foot Capt. Kenneth took the Honey Cutter in tow shortly after 11 p.m. and are en route to Honolulu.
“This case underscores the valuable partnerships we have with our sister service and the goodwill of fellow mariners,” said Lt. j.g. Chris Sena, of the Coast Guard 14th District command center. “This crew was ready with multiple methods of communication, means to keep the vessel afloat, and abandon ship if necessary which are key when making long distance voyages safely. Emergencies arise it pays to be prepared! ”
Watchstanders at the Coast Guard command center in Honolulu received an SOS activation on a GPS device registered to the master of the Honey Cutter at 11:43 a.m. The initial message indicated the vessel had suffered a keel fracture and was taking on water at a rate of two gallons per hour. On board pumps were keeping up with the flooding.
The watchstanders immediately identified available resources to assist the Honey Cutter including good Samaritans aboard the fishing vessel Capt. Kenneth, 80 miles from the sailing vessel, and a Navy P-3 Orion crew based on Oahu.
The Orion crew arrived on scene at 5 p.m. and established contact with the Honey Cutter crew who indicated they were prepared to abandon ship and were manually dewatering the vessel at this point, but planned to stay with the vessel as long as possible while awaiting the arrival of the Capt. Kenneth.
The Capt. Kenneth arrived on scene and took the Honey Cutter in tow. The Orion crew remained on standby on scene until the fishing vessel arrived and maintained communications. The Coast Guard Cutter Galveston Island has departed Honolulu and is en route to rendezvous with the Capt. Kenneth to assume the tow, expected to arrive on scene Thursday early afternoon.
Weather on scene was reported as 3-foot seas and winds of 23 mph. The Honey Cutter is a 36-foot vessel. The crew was on a voyage from Hawaii to San Diego.
The crew of the Honey Cutter was involved in another Coast Guard case Aug. 30 when family members reported the crew overdue on a voyage from Oahu to Maui. A search ensued and the crew reported in safe once they came back into cell phone service range. They had been delayed by weather and did not hear Coast Guard call outs over VHF-FM radio because they were not tuned to Channel 16, the international hailing and distress frequency.