A group of eight people were rescued Sunday 12 miles west of Molokai near Hawaii’s Honolulu Island after their boat sank.
Jeff Kozlovich told Hawaii News Now that his vessel hit rough waters with waves crashing onto the boat’s bow.
“Before we knew it, too much water was in the boat and we really couldn’t steer well or maneuver,” Kozlovich told Hawaii News Now.
Kozlovich and his group, which consisted of four adults and four children, gathered their life jackets and tied three kayaks together while waiting for help in the water.
After watchstanders at Joint Rescue Coordination Center Honolulu received an unregistered signal for possible persons in distress approximately 12 miles west of Molokai, a MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew was launched from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point to search the area, according to a Coast Guard release.
Shortly after the initial unregistered signal notification, watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Honolulu received a call from a father stating his son and seven others were in distress in the vicinity of the signal. SCC issued an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast to mariners in the area.
Luckily for the stranded group, the 21-foot recreational vessel had an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon that was activated after the vessel had sunk. The beacon allowed the Coast Guard to quickly locate the group.
“This case had the potential to quickly degrade but the immediate response from men and women of the Coast Guard ensured the swift recovery of all four children and four adults,” said Lt. Patrick Frain, a command duty officer at Coast Guard Sector Honolulu, in a release.
The Coast Guard’s Dolphin helicopter crew arrived on scene and safely hoisted four people in the helicopter then transported them to Sandy Beach Park where members from the Honolulu Fire Department were waiting to assist with the victims, according to a release. The helicopter returned two additional times to pick up the remaining people from the water.
“Additionally the eight rescued people are all fairly experienced watermen and had adequately prepared by having lifejackets, an EPIRB and a VHF radio onboard, without that safety equipment the Coast Guard may not have been immediately alerted of their distress,” said Lt. Jessica Mickelson, a command duty officer at Sector Honolulu, in a release.
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