UPDATE: Men Rescued After Abandoning Ship Off Kona
***Updated at 9:45 a.m. to include additional information from the United States Coast Guard.***
The United States Coast Guard has provided new details about three men who abandoned their ship Thursday evening.
According to the Coast Guard, the men were rescued at 2:47 a.m. and arrived on Oahu at 4:16 a.m. They were taken to The Queen’s Medical Center – West Oahu.
“These men were located and rescued fairly quickly due to their use of an emergency positioning indicating radio beacon and also having it properly registered,” said Mike Cobb, a duty watchstander at the Coast Guard 14th District. “Because it was properly registered we were able to identify the vessel, get in touch with the owner, and confirm right away that they were fishing in that area and that he was unable to get in touch with them.
The men abandoned ship into a life raft after their 41-foot fishing vessel Vicious Cycle began taking on water. It is not immediately known what caused the vessel to take on water. The Coast Guard will investigate the cause of the sinking. .
Weather conditions were reported as 28 mph winds with seas up to 10 feet.
****Original story posted at 7:58 a.m.****
Three fisherman who abandoned ship Thursday evening 161 miles southwest of Kailua-Kona have been rescued.
Coast Guard Petty Officer Tara Molle tells Big Island Now that the men who were aboard the 41-foot fishing vessel Vicious Cycle were rescued by crew from the Navy Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron Thirty-Seven around 3 a.m. Friday morning.
Rescue efforts were launched following a 7:53 p.m. report of an emergency positioning indicating radio beacon being received by watchstanders at the Joint Rescue Coordination Center in Honolulu.
An HC-130 Hercules aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point was immediately launched to the scene. According to Coast Guard officials, the USCG Cutter Alex Haley, which is based out of Kodiak, Alaska, was diverted from its course back to Alaska to also assist in the operation, and a Samaritan crew from the fishing vessel Princess K. also assisted in the efforts
The HC-130 aircrew located the fisherman in a life raft after the crew used a dim flashlight and flares to signal them. However, poor visibility and weather made it difficult for the Hercules crew to deploy a radio. Ultimately, the Hercules crew had to return to base to refuel.
According to Molle, the men were hoisted onboard the Navy helicopter and taken to Air Station Barbers Point, where emergency crews were available to transport them to a local hospital.
All three are being treated for mild hypothermia.
Molle says details on why the men abandoned ship were not immediately available.
“It’s important to point out that these men were located fairly quickly due to their use of an EPIRB and also having it properly registered,” said Mike Cobb, a duty watchstander at the Coast Guard 14th District. “Since it was properly registered, we were able to identify the vessel, get in touch with the owner, and confirm right away that they were fishing in that area and that he was unable to get in touch with them.”