Crews rescue 3 fishermen forced to abandon ship off Big Island

Crews rescue 3 fishermen forced to abandon ship off Big Island

KONA, HAWAII (HawaiiNewsNow) - The three fishermen who were forced to abandon ship from a 41-foot fishing vessel off the coast of the Big Island were rescued Friday morning and are now safe on Oahu, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

The Coast Guard launched one of its helicopters after receiving the emergency report shortly before 8 p.m. on Thursday. While scouring the ocean, the aircrew located the fishermen in a life raft when they spotted flashing lights and flares used to call for help.

The crew was unable to deploy a portable radio to them due to poor visibility and weather conditions, which included 28 mph winds and 10-foot seas.

A Coast Guard cutter from Alaska was dispatched to the scene along with a Navy helicopter from Kaneohe and fishing vessel Princess K.

Officials said crews from the Navy helicopter rescued the fishermen and transported them to Oahu around 4 a.m., where they were taken to the hospital and treated for mild hypothermia.

The fishermen were on a fishing vessel called the Vicious Cycle when they were forced to abandon ship approximately 160 miles southwest of Kona.

Copyright 2016 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.