2 mariners rescued from sinking sailboat near Maui overnight

2 mariners rescued from sinking sailboat near Maui overnight
The vessel Orion partially submerged below the water's surface. (Image: U.S. Coast Guard)

MAUI (HawaiiNewsNow) - Coast Guard crews were able to safely rescue two mariners Wednesday night after they ran into trouble in waters off Maui.

The two were sailing in a 44-foot sailboat when they began taking on water near Maui's Molokini Crater, a popular diving and snorkeling destination off the island's northeastern end.

They were reportedly on the second leg of their journey from California. They first stopped in Hilo, and were en route to Oahu.

Coast Guard officials say the emergency call came in around 9:30 p.m. Crews responded, located and rescued the pair almost an hour later.

Shortly after being rescued, the vessel completely sank in about 70 feet of water.

"These mariners acted quickly to call for help and don lifejackets when it was necessary to abandon ship. We remind anyone operating in the area to keep a sharp lookout and be cautious as the vessel is now underwater," Lt. Brock Blaisdell, command duty officer, Coast Guard Sector Honolulu said.

Officials say the vessel poses a minor pollution threat. On board are 40 gallons of diesel fuel, 10 gallons of gasoline, and two marine batteries.

Despite the pollution threat, no sheen has been seen in the water.

The owners are working with agencies to remove the boat.

It's not yet know what caused the vessel to sink.

Copyright 2018 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.