13 people rescued after sailboat runs aground near Ala Moana Bow - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

13 people rescued after sailboat runs aground near Ala Moana Bowls

WAIKIKI (HawaiiNewsNow) -

More than a dozen people are safe after a sailboat ran aground near the channel to the Ala Wai Boat Harbor Friday evening.

The U.S. Coast Guard and Honolulu Fire Department responded after the 46-foot sailboat "Boomerang" ran aground on the reef near the Ala Moana Bowls surf break at about 7 p.m.

Rescue crews were able to bring all 13 people ashore quickly. 

The Boomerang was taking part in the Friday night sailboat races from Ala Moana to Diamond Head. 

The south shore was under a High Surf Advisory when the incident happened. Boaters said sets coming up quickly, and many of the vessels decided to leave the race and return to the harbor. That's when the Boomerang floundered in the big waves.

"When the water passed on the last big wave, basically the keel hit the bottom and we lost our steerage," said Boomerang crew member Eric DeCarlo. "Basically we were stuck at that point. We couldn't start the motor, and basically wave after wave just kept hitting us and eventually pushed us way across the reef."

"We were coming into the channel here at the end of the race," said the Hawaii Yacht Club's Ron Pestel, who was following on another vessel. "We saw Boomerang. She was listing up on the reef, and you could see her sail going back and forth, back our forth. Our main concern is that nobody got hurt."

All 13 people aboard the Boomerang ended up in the water when rescue crews arrived. All were taken to shore, where emergency crews treated some of them for hypothermia. EMS officials said they were given towels and blankets and were warmed up in responding ambulances, but otherwise they refused transport.

A Coast Guard vessel kept an eye on the grounded vessel overnight after it was determined that it was too dark and the waves were too dangerous to immediately begin an investigation and a recovery effort.

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