MOLOKAI (HawaiiNewsNow) - Two fishermen were rescued in waters south of Molokai Thursday when a large wave capsized their vessel.
Coast Guard crews received the emergency call just after noon and promptly dispatched air rescue operations.
Around 1:30, the air crew spotted an 18-foot recreational fishing vessel overturned and the two men in the water. They were located about four miles off shore.
They were rescued and brought back to Molokai. Conditions at the time were reported to be winds at 25 mph with 4-foot seas.
The fishermen reported that after the wave capsized the boat, one of the men swam back under the vessel and manually activated an emergency beacon known as an EPIRB.
Coast Guard officials say that EPIRB potentially saved their lives.
"If these men did not have an EPIRB, they might not be coming home tonight," said Petty Officer 1st Class Shamica Titus, search and rescue planner, JRCC Honolulu. "Having the beacon registered and our prompt notification by it gave us information to work from sooner than an overdue report and a place to start searching.
"This action can save hours, maybe days, in a search and make the difference between life and death at sea," Titus added.
In 2017, the Coast Guard says more than 275 people were saved thanks to the used of the EPIRB.
It sends an emergency alert from anywhere in the world to satellite-aided tracking systems. The device will then pinpoint exact locations of people in distress almost instantly.
Coast Guard officials say its important for boaters to properly register and maintain their EPRIB systems.
As for the vessel, the Coast Guard says it was towed back to the harbor on Molokai.
This story will be updated.