Coast Guard rescues sinking fishing boat northeast of Oahu - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Coast Guard rescues sinking fishing boat northeast of Oahu

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

[Update 11/17]

The fishing boat arrived in Honolulu. All six people on board were safe.

[Original story]

Fishermen in waters off Oahu are slowly making their way back to shore after they sent out a distress call Sunday morning saying their boat was sinking.

The United States Coast Guard got the call shortly before 9:00 a.m. and immediately deployed boat and air crews to the rescue.

"You hear that alarm go off…your heart gets racing, you run upstairs and catch the details for the case," said copilot LTJG Michael Carman.

The 68-foot-long commercial fishing vessel Pacifica was slowly sinking about 150 miles off shore of Oahu. The boat was taking on ten gallons of water per minute. There were six fishermen on board.

The first to arrive on scene was a U.S. Coast Guard C-130 flown by Carman.

"Saw the boat had a pretty good lean to right. So got on scene and dropped a flare first off just so that we have a good wind line because the smoke helps determine what the good wind line for us will be," Carman said.

Carman and his crew dropped equipment to help the crew pump out water to keep up with the flooding. Shortly after, the Coast Guard Cutter Kittiwake, a rescue boat, arrived to help.

"The weathers do change quite drastically here. That's why we have the 87-foot patrol boat if things do worsen with them, they will be able to pick them up and bring them safely back into port," said LTJG Nicholas Spence.

Spence said one of the boat's seals broke.

The Coast Guard said weather conditions worked in their favor Sunday morning. But a small craft advisory and north/northwest swell is expected to peak Monday morning, when the crew is scheduled to get back to Honolulu Harbor.

“What's the most important thing about being a boater, a professional mariner, is just to have that proper safety gear on board because anything can happen and you always want to have that ability to survive without the Coast Guard or state, local agencies help out there in the water," Spence said.

At last check, the fishing vessel was 15 miles offshore of Sandy Beach and is expected to arrive on Oahu at approximately 10 a.m.

No one was injured.

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