Australian who set sail in homemade boat rescued off Maui

Australian who set sail in homemade boat rescued off Maui
(Image: U.S. Coast Guard)
(Image: U.S. Coast Guard)

KAHULUI, MAUI (HawaiiNewsNow) - An Australian national who set sail in a homemade vessel more than 100 days ago has been rescued in waters off the coast of Maui.

U.S. Coast Guard authorities say the 62-year-old mariner was attempting to make his way from Panama to Australia in the 'Kehaar Darwin' when he ran into weather conditions that forced him toward Hawaii.

The man was reportedly disoriented when he flagged down a passenger vessel on Sunday, roughly three and a half miles from shore. The captain of the passenger vessel then radioed the U.S. Coast Guard station on Maui and reported that he was in need of assistance.

He did not have communications equipment onboard, authorities say, and his engine and sails were in poor condition.

"Being disoriented while at sea in a vessel with no communication capabilities aboard can be deadly if not handled quickly," said Petty Officer 2nd Class Jacob Schlereth, a boarding officer and engineer at Station Maui. "We commend the good Samaritan for recognizing the complications and contacting the proper authorities to initiate a rescue."

The man will be interviewed by U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents before he resumes his voyage.

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