Hawaii Island losing its only Coast Guard cutter

Hawaii Island losing its only Coast Guard cutter

HILO, Hawaii (AP) - The Coast Guard patrol boat Kiska is pulling out of Hilo Harbor and is headed for its new home in Guam.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports the cutter is leaving Hawaii island with only two Coast Guard personnel, prompting concern over how open-water searches and rescues there will be conducted.

Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim says the Coast Guard notified county civil defense officials of the upcoming move, but says he is still waiting to hear the Coast Guard's plan to cover the waters around the Big Island.

County lifeguards and firefighters will continue to conduct nearshore searches and assist boaters in distress and fishermen who get swept out to sea. But Kim says Hawaii island has relied on the Kiska for open-water search-and-rescue operations since it arrived in 1990.

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