Kiska Aids Vessel Near Hilo Breakwall
The United States Coast Guard crew aboard the Cutter Kiska aided a double-hulled sailing vessel in Hilo Bay on Wednesday.
A phone call into the local Coast Guard, Coast Guard Sector Honolulu, and the Hawai’i County Fire Department came in a little before 12 p.m. of a vessel about 200 yards off the breakwall in Hilo Bay.
Lieutenant Kevin Trujillo, Commanding Officer of the Kiska, which is home ported at the Hilo harbor, tells Big Island Now that he was able to quickly launch the Kiska’s small boat.
The boat’s coxswain, Boatswain’s Mate First Class Petty Officer William Powers, towed the distressed vessel off the breakwall rocks and back into the bay, along with Seaman Apprentice Brian Cundiff.
“If we didn’t get it off the rocks, that vessel would have been destroyed,” Lieutenant Trujillo said.
Four people were on-board as the vessel was towed off the rocks. It was not clear whether or not the vessel was initially manned.
Lieutenant Trujillo said that upon the Kiska small boat’s arrival, several individuals had jumped into the water from the breakwall to attempt to push out and rescue the vessel.
Rescue operations within one mile of the coast are generally under the jurisdiction of HFD, however, the Kiska’s proximity to the location and personnel availability allowed for the Coast Guard to offer aid.
According to Lieutenant Trujillo, the vessel’s motor was able to restart once being pulled back into the bay.
The Kiska is a 110-foot Coast Guard Cutter, one of fours Cutters in Hawai’i and one of two 110-foot patrol boats in the islands.