USCG, HFD Rescue Stranded Kayaker Off South Point Monday

July 27, 2020, 4:48 PM HST (Updated July 27, 2020, 4:48 PM)
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USCG and HFD rescued a kayaker six miles off of South Point on Monday, July 27, 2020. PC: USCG

A kayaker isolated at sea by treacherous ocean conditions was rescued six miles off South Point Monday by first responders from the US Coast Guard and the Hawai‘i County Fire Department Monday.

The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Kimball (WMSL 756) recovered the kayaker with his craft and transported him to Keauhou Bay, a report from the Coast Guard said.

“Even the most experienced mariner can find themselves in trouble when out on the ocean, and that is especially true following a large storm,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Jonathan Lackey, a Sector Honolulu watchstander. “The Islands are still feeling the after-effects of Hurricane Douglas and we urge people to exercise caution due to the high surf and strong rip currents caused by the storm.”

No injuries or medical concerns were reported.

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At 7:55 a.m., Sector Honolulu watchstanders received a report from the Hawai‘i County Dispatch reporting they had received a call from a kayaker in distress. The kayaker stated he had become beset by weather while fishing Sunday night and had drifted offshore. He stated he was capsizing and fatigued.

The Hawai‘i County Fire Department launched an Air 1 helicopter aircrew in response while Sector Honolulu watchstanders issued an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast notice to mariners and diverted multiple coast guard assets including the Kimball to assist.

The HCF Air 1 helicopter crew arrived on the scene, located the kayaker, and remained overhead until the Kimball arrived.

“The kayak blended in with the whitecaps created by the strong winds,” said Seaman Michael Bassman, a lookout aboard the Kimball. “This made the mission incredibly difficult but also all the more fulfilling with its successful conclusion.”

Because of these difficulties the Coast Guard recommends waterway users wear bright clothing while out on the water to assist search and rescue crews during emergencies.

The weather on the scene consisted of winds of 28 mph and seas up to eight feet.

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