Boat Rescued Off Kona After Running Out of FuelJune 10, 2013, 5:40 PM HST (Updated June 10, 2013, 5:41 PM)
Three people had to be rescued Sunday after their recreational vessel ran out of fuel 21 miles northwest of Kailua-Kona, the Coast Guard said.
A friend of the vessel’s crew called Coast Guard Sector Honolulu Sunday morning to report that the 21-foot boat was running out of fuel.
The Coast Guard sent two vessels to the scene, the Hilo-based cutter Kiska and a 45-foot rescue boat stationed on Maui. A CH-130 Hercules aircraft also was dispatched from Air Station Barbers Point on Oahu.
The aircrew arrived at the vessel at 5:15 p.m. and dropped provisions and flares as well as a radio in a watertight container to allow the Coast Guard to communicate with the vessel’s captain.
The rescue boat took the vessel in tow at 7:10 p.m. and returned it safely to Kawaihae Harbor.
The Coast Guard took the opportunity to encourage boaters to remain aware of their vessel’s fuel capacity and other limitations while operating offshore of the Hawaiian Islands.
Filing of float plans, installing a VHF marine band radio and frequently checking safety equipment like flares and life jackets can greatly increase boaters’ survival in an emergency or help avoid an emergency altogether, Coast Guard officials said.