HONOLULU — Two sailors from Lana’i are safe after their 37-foot sailing vessel sustained severe damage when it ran aground, stranding them on a small remote island near Malden Island, Kiribati.
The men were en route to Tahiti from Lana’i when they ran aground on a coral reef in their vessel, Hina Nui. One of the sailors contacted his wife via satellite phone to relay their distress. The men reported irreparable damage to the sailboat, but that they were safe and uninjured. According to shipsfindthedata.com, the vessel is registered to a Jefferson Menze
The wife contacted watchstanders at the Coast Guard Joint Rescue Coordination Center Honolulu at 11:20 p.m., Wednesday.
Coast Guard watchstanders identified the nearby Celebrity Solstice, a 963-foot cruise ship, approximately 184 miles from the stranded mariners. The cruise ship agreed to divert course to rescue the two men.
The crew of the cruise ship identified a safe location on the western side of the island and communicated with the mariners using a VHF radio. The men hiked from the eastern tip of the island where the sailboat grounded, and met the rescue crew from the cruise ship. At approximately 10 a.m., the men were successfully transported back to the cruise ship.
The Celebrity Solstice is currently en route to its next port call to the Hawaiian Islands.
“The fact that these men were well prepared with an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon and a satellite phone contributed to their successful rescue,” said Lt. j.g. Heidi Will, a search and rescue coordinator at the JRCC. “Mariners are advised to carry all appropriate safety equipment as maritime emergencies can occur quickly and without warning to even the most experienced individuals.”
HONOLULU — The Coast Guard medically evacuated a 60-year-old woman who was experiencing shortness of breath and weakness on a tour boat in the Molokini Crater near Maui, Hawaii, Tuesday.
Watchstanders at Coast Guard Station Maui received a report from a crewmember aboard the Pride of Maui, a snorkeling tour boat, that the female passenger was experiencing shortness of breath and weakness while preparing to conduct a scuba dive.
Crewmembers on the Pride of Maui stabilized the woman and administered oxygen.
A 45-foot Response Boat-Medium boat crew from Coast Guard Station Maui was diverted from a training mission to the scene. Once on scene, the woman was transferred onto the RB-M and safely transported to Kihei Boat Ramp in Kihei, Maui where local emergency medical services personnel were waiting to take her to Maui Memorial Medical Center.
The Coast Guard 45-foot RB-M replaced the aging and outdated 41-foot Utility Boat and boasts an improved design, new ergonomics, and enhanced safety features, making boat crews more effective in performing their multiple missions.
HONOLULU – The Coast Guard rescued a distressed diver approximately one mile offshore Kaena Point, Oahu, Friday.
At 10:08 p.m., watchstanders at the Sector Honolulu Command Center received notification from a disabled mariner that one of his passengers was diving 500 yards away, had become distressed and was drifting away from shore. Yes, that made it “0 for 2.” The boat was disabled, so it couldn’t get to the night diver – who was also drifting away from the boat and away from shore.
The disabled mariner was unable to retrieve the diver, but was able to maintain sight of him because he was wearing a light.
An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew launched from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point at 11:24 p.m. Twenty-two minutes later, the crew arrived on scene and hoisted the diver.
The diver was safely transferred to awaiting EMS at Yokohama Bay and is reportedly in good condition.
Honolulu Fire Department safely towed the disabled vessel to Waianae Boat Harbor.
HONOLULU — Two critically endangered Hawaiian monk seals (Neomonachus schauinslandi) were successfully returned to Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument after being rehabilitated at The Marine Mammal Center’s Ke Kai Ola Hawaiian Monk Seal Hospital in Kona, March 25. The seals were rescued last year in an emaciated state, one on Kure Atoll and another on Laysan Island, during NOAA Fisheries Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Program’s field camp season.
“The successful rehabilitation and release of these young seals demonstrates the collaboration and innovation that will be necessary to save Hawaiian monk seals from extinction,” said Dr. Rachel Sprague, NOAA Fisheries’ Hawaiian Monk Seal Recovery Coordinator. “The dedicated efforts displayed by NOAA, The Marine Mammal Center, U.S. Coast Guard, State of Hawai’i Department of Land and Natural Resources, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service show how it will take every one of us to help protect these extraordinary animals. As a result of our intervention, two young female monk seals are now returning home to a bright future where they can contribute to the recovery of their species.”
The two juvenile females, Pua ‘Ena O Ke Kai (“fiery child of the sea”) and Meleana (“continuous song”), or Pua and Mele for short, were transported last September aboard NOAA Ship Oscar Elton Sette to the Ke Kai Ola hospital in Kona, established by the Center in mid-2014. Once at Ke Kai Ola, staff and volunteers with the Center spent five months nursing the animals from their malnourished state to the fat healthy seals they are now. Now these females have a better chance of surviving their first two years of life and will hopefully grow to have their own pups.
Shortly after the hospital opened last year, Ke Kai Ola staff and volunteers also rehabilitated four other young seals, which were returned to French Frigate Shoals and Laysan Island within the Monument last September. In less than a year of the new hospital’s opening, it has made a significant difference in the future of these young seals, who would almost certainly have died without rehabilitation.
“With 40 years of experience caring for seals and sea lions, The Marine Mammal Center is a primary authority on preventing the extinction of the Hawaiian monk seal,” says Dr. Shawn Johnson, Director of Veterinary Science at The Marine Mammal Center. “After providing Mele and Pua with life-saving medical care, we’re proud to partner with NOAA Fisheries, the Coast Guard, the state of Hawaii and the Monument to release these healthy seals back to their ocean home.”
A U.S. Coast Guard HC-130 aircraft crew from Air Station Barbers Point on Oʻahu picked up the seals in Kona and flew them to Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge on March 18.
On the evening of March 20, 2015 the seals were loaded onto the offshore supply ship Kahana and departed for Kure Atoll State Wildlife Sanctuary, located at the northernmost point in the Hawaiian archipelago, about 1,350 miles northwest of Honolulu. From the pickup in Kona until their release, the seals were monitored around the clock. Scientists from NOAA Fisheries and The Marine Mammal Center cared for the seals during transport and at Midway Atoll. After arrival at Kure Atoll on March 21, they were watched over by biologists from NOAA Fisheries and Hawaiʻi Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) until their release on the 25th.
“The Coast Guard works closely with NOAA and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect marine mammals and endangered species under the Marine Mammal Protection Act and the Endangered Species Act,” said Lt. Lauren Gillikin, an HC-130 Hercules airplane pilot at Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point. “By promoting the conservation of these mammals the Coast Guard helps to preserve the existing ecosystem.”
The Hawaiian monk seal is critically endangered, with fewer than 1,100 individuals in the wild, including about 900 in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Fewer than one in five Hawaiian monk seal pups in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands survive their first year due to threats like starvation, entanglement in marine debris, male aggression due to abnormally small population size, and more. NOAA Fisheries implements numerous strategies to combat these threats; their monk seal recovery program is the most proactive marine mammal conservation initiative in the world. At least 30 percent of the Hawaiian monk seal population is alive today because of the collaborative efforts to help save them.
Hawaiian monk seals transported from the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands to the Kona facility for rehabilitation may only be released back to the NWHI. Release at Kure Atoll is favorable given its recent good survival rates for young seals and opportunities for weekly visual surveys by DLNR staff stationed there. Seal movements will also be tracked via satellite for post-release monitoring.
HONOLULU – The Coast Guard is seeking the public’s help in identifying the owner of an adrift kayak located approximately 12 miles southwest of La’au Point, Molokai, Sunday.
Watchstanders at the Coast Guard Sector Honolulu Command Center received notification from a Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew of an adrift, partially submerged 12-foot blue kayak.
There are no missing persons or distress reports in the area.
An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point, a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew from Station Maui and an Auxiliary aircraft searched approximately 170 square miles for three hours.
Anyone with information that may help identify the owner of the kayak is asked to contact the Coast Guard Sector Honolulu Command Center at (808) 842-2600.
The Coast Guard advises the public to register and label all watercraft and equipment with contact information in order to quickly account for owners and prevent any unnecessary searches.
Through the Operation Paddle Smart program, the Coast Guard offers a free “If Found” decal to be placed in a visible location on small, human-powered watercraft. The information on the sticker can allow response entities to quickly identify the vessel’s owner and aid search and rescue planners in determining the best course of action.
The stickers can be obtained for free at local harbormasters, through the Coast Guard Auxiliary, from Honolulu Sail and Power Squadron offices and at select marine retail and supply stores.
By Jeff King
The pilot of a single engine Cirrus SR-22 aircraft that ran out of fuel is safe after ditching his aircraft 253 miles northeast of Maui Sunday.
At approximately 4:44 p.m. the pilot was able to deploy the aircraft’s airframe parachute system and safely exit the aircraft into a life raft. Maui TV News first reported the incident Sunday afternoon. Read that original report here.
Incredible images have been made public by the Coast Guard. Video shows the actual moment when the plane’s engine stopped, which was immediately followed by the deployment of an airframe parachute that allowed the craft to gently descend to the ocean’s surface. The footage changes from black and white to color to infrared and captures the entire rescue. The Cirrus SR-22 is one of few small planes certified to carry and deploy the airframe parachute. Coast Guard video proves it works. The pilot seems to land on the water like a feather, after which he climbs out the door and enters a life raft.
Watchstanders at the Coast Guard Joint Rescue Coordination Center Honolulu identified the cruise ship Veendam, en route to Lahaina, Maui, and coordinated the pilot’s ditch near their location. The Veendam’s name might sound familiar. In 2008 while docked in Lahaina Roads, the crew brought more than 100 mattresses ashore to be donated to Maui homeless shelters.
At 5:21 p.m. Sunday, the crew of the Veendam rescued the pilot. The pilot was reported to be in good condition. The plane was last observed partially submerged.
Weather conditions at the time of the rescue were seas of 9 to 12 feet and winds of 25 to 28 mph.
The Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules airplane from Air Station Barbers Point assisted the pilot during the process of ditching his aircraft and maintained communications throughout the ditching process. The Hercules crew remained on scene until the pilot was safely aboard the Veendam. The C-130 left the area when other Coast Guard crews arrived by boat and helicopter. As a quirk of fate would have it, the C-130 was called to yet another incident where a small plane had ditched at sea between Kaua’i and O’ahu. Read that story here.
The flight originated in Tracy, California and was destined for Kahului Maui. According to Wikipedia, the Cirrus SR-22 has a range of 1,049 miles. The distance from Tracy, CA to Kahului is 2,389 miles. The half-million dollar plane may not be salvageable. Investigators will surely be curious how the pilot thought he’d be able to fly his plane the extra 1,340 miles with no fuel.
Sunday’s first rescue began at 12:30 p.m., when the pilot contacted the Hawaii National Guard and reported his aircraft had approximately three hours of fuel remaining and he would be ditching 230 miles north east of Maui.
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