MAN OVERBOARD – Sailor Falls Off Navy Ship USS Essex During RIMPAC Exercises

Yesterday I asked what that strange looking vehicle was that landed on Kawaihae Harbor.  Today, I learned first hand what it was and how it is used as I got invited to go out to the US Navy’s High-Tech Transport for the Marines the USS Essex (LHD-2).

I arrived at Kawaihae Harbor around 9:00 in the morning and there was one Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) already at the harbor.

A LCAC with deflated pontoons.

It had already unloaded vehicles that were on a convoy up to Pohakuloa Training Grounds.

After a few minutes and talking to a few folks around the area, I learned that another LCAC was coming in with live ammunition.

A 2nd LCAC arrives

These LCAC are amphibious and can go on both water and land!

[youtube=http://youtu.be/to7kQSBDCcw]

Because of the nature of the volatility of ammunition… they really take their time when it comes to loading and unloading it.

After they unloaded the ammunition it was time to go out to the USS Essex which was based about 12 miles off the Big Island.

All Aboard!

After about a 15 minute ride on the LCAC where they allowed me to sit in the bridge, we arrived at the USS Essex and we literally entered the belly of the ship between two pontoons.

Entering!

Everything was going as planned and all of the drivers of the next convoy came down to the vehicle storage space to prepare to load for the next LCAC departure.

Drivers

I had slipped on the deck and cut my hand a little bit so I asked to use the bathroom and was escorted up to the upper deck of the ship.  As we were going back down to the lower part of the ship… all these sailors started running around and then the ship came to a sudden stop!

I heard a bunch of military jargon come on over the ships loudspeaker and then by the reaction of all the sailors on the ship… I knew immediately what happened… as a sailor had fallen overboard.

An opening on the ship

I overheard many sailors running around saying “Man Overboard! Man Overboard”… and I knew that this was the real thing and not just a drill as the look on the face of my escort just turned pale and he didn’t know what to tell me other then yes… someone did just fall overboard.

Another opening in the Essex

They have a very set protocol on what happens when a sailor does fall overboard and I later found out that the last time someone fell overboard on the USS Essex was over 12-13 years ago!  I took this one and only picture because I didn’t know that I wasn’t allowed to take pictures of the incident until after I took this picture.

Smoke flares helps locate folks who have fallen overboard.

The Navy was obviously well prepared for something like this happening because within just a few minutes after he was in the water…. they had a search and rescue helicopter in the air looking for him as well as boats in the water as well.

It took about 10 minutes to locate him in the water and the helicopter circled overhead and then dropped in a specialist to rescue him from the water.

Unfortunately when they brought him back aboard the ship he was on a gurney and it looked like he may have gotten injured.

Getting ready to leave the ship

I’m pretty sure they really didn’t want something like this happening while someone like myself was on the ship… but hey, things happen and I’m glad they were well prepared for the real thing when it did happen.  That is why you train!!!

In the cargo area of the USS Essex

I was only suppose to be on the Essex for a little while… but with the guy falling overboard… I think I was the last thing they were worried about!  After they located the sailor they loaded up another LCAC with equipment and I got on that one for the journey back to the harbor.

Heading home view from above in the bridge of the LCAC

I’d like to thank the US Navy for giving me this chance to check out the operations going on first-hand.  I’d also like to personally thank Lt. Amber Lewis for the hospitality aboard the ship… and for hooking me up w/ another coin for my collection!

US Navy coin #8!

Here is some general information about the USS Essex:

And here is a bit of history about the Essex:

Big Island Police Searching for 34-Year-Old Wanted for Attempted Murder

Big Island police are searching for a man wanted for attempted murder. The suspect has been identified as 34-year-old Jarvis Naoki Higa of Hilo.

Jarvis Naoki Higa

At 1:10 a.m. Wednesday, police responded to a report of a man threatening a 34-year-old Hilo man with a firearm. Police determined that a round was discharged in the parking lot of the Orchid Manor condominium complex on Kalanianaole Avenue in Hilo before the suspect fled the area.

He is described as Japanese, 5-foot-6, 160 pounds with short black hair and tattoos on his chest. He may be armed and dangerous.

Police ask that anyone who witnessed the incident or anyone who knows Higa’s whereabouts contact Detective Ernest Matsumoto by phone at 961-2379 or by email at ematsumoto@co.hawaii.hi.us or Detective Joel Field by phone at 961-2381 or by email at jfield@co.hawaii.hi.us.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record calls or subscribe to caller ID. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Big Island Police Bust 22-Year-Old in Connection with Hilo Burglary Last Month

Big Island police have charged a 22- year-old Hilo man in connection with a burglary in Hilo last month.

Kawika Kaiulani Larinaga-Napihaa

At 12:30 p.m. Wednesday (July 18), after conferring with prosecutors, Kawika Kaiulani Larinaga-Napihaa was charged with one count of first-degree burglary and one count of second-degree theft. His bail was set at $35,000. He is being held at the Hilo police cellblock pending his initial court appearance scheduled for Thursday (July 19).

On June 6 at about 8 a.m., police responded to a call from a 64-year-old Hilo woman who reported that upon returning to her Kinoʻole Street home, she discovered a lone man inside. The suspect fled the house with more than $3,000 in property belonging to the victim.

Detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigations Section continue to review and analyze recent burglaries reported in the South Hilo and Puna districts for similarities.

Police ask that anyone with information about recent burglaries contact either Detective John Rodrigues Jr. by phone at 961-2384 or by email at jrodrigues@co.hawaii.hi.us or Detective Royce Serrao by phone at 961-8810 or by email at rpserrao@co.hawaii.hi.us.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record calls or subscribe to caller ID. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Police continue to ask for the public’s help in reporting suspicious activities, subjects, or vehicles in their neighborhoods by calling the non-emergency line at 935-3311. In the event that residents observe activities requiring immediate police response, they should instead call 911 and be prepared to provide police with the following information:

Address or location of activity, Descriptions and number of the suspects, including the color and type of clothing, caps, or footwear.  Descriptions of any vehicles present, including make, model, color, license plate, and any unusual characteristics—such as tinted windows, loud mufflers, damage to exterior—and a direction of travel if the vehicle leaves the scene

Police also continue to offer free home inspections. Appointments can be made by calling the Community Policing Section at 961-2350.

Big Island Police Looking for Cow Butcher

Big Island police are investigating the theft of livestock over the weekend in Honokaʻa.

Sometime between July 13 and 14 someone entered a livestock paddock in the Kapulena area and butchered a calf valued at more than $400. The property had been set aside by the county for lease to farmers and ranchers.

Police ask that anyone who has any information about this theft call Officer Duwayne Waipa at 775-7533.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record calls or subscribe to caller I.D. all Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Big Island Police Investigating Rash of Suspicious Fires

Big Island police are investigating a rash of suspicious fires that have burned in the Kaʻū district over the last six weeks.

Since June 14, officers have initiated six fire investigations—including three in one day. The fires were reported on the following dates:

June 14 (200 square feet)
June 18 (200 square feet)
June 18 (4,500 acres)
June 18 (1,500 acres)
July 13 (10 acres)
July 15 (200 acres)

Police ask the public to be diligent in reporting any suspicious activity, especially in the vicinity of any fires or dry brush. Anyone with any information about the fires or suspicious persons is asked to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record calls or subscribe to caller ID. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

New Ka‘ū District Gym & Shelter to Break Ground This Fall

Ka‘ū District residents will see their ideas and dreams for a community gym and emergency center begin to take shape this fall with the start of construction on the new Ka‘ū District Gym & Shelter.

The County of Hawai‘i recently awarded the $17 million construction contract to Summit Construction; construction is expected to begin this September and last approximately 18 months to complete.

The new Ka‘ū District Gym & Shelter will be located on the Ka‘ū High and Pāhala Elementary school campus.  It will be operated and maintained by the County of Hawai‘i Department of Parks and Recreation.

The 43,300- square-foot facility will be built to Enhanced Hurricane criteria.

In acknowledgment of Ka‘ū’s proximity to vog emissions, the multi-purpose room and recreational room are provided with filtration systems and can serve as a shelter when there is an increased level of volcanic discharge in the area’s atmosphere.

The size and diversity of the facility is in direct response to comments gathered in November and December from the community, said Mayor Billy Kenoi.  “The Ka‘ū District Gym & Shelter has been designed to expand athletic and recreational opportunities, serve as a destination for community events and emergency shelter during natural disasters.”

The gym will also accommodate three regulation HHSAA basketball or volleyball courts, and could host the Big Island Interscholastic (BIIF) basketball or volleyball games.  Accessory rooms will include; locker and training rooms, and restrooms; a lobby, courtyard, certified kitchen, ticket booths; and office space, and storage areas for the State Department of Education, County Parks & Recreation, and the American Red Cross.

Mary Correa, Complex Area Superintendent for Ka‘ū – Kea‘au, Pāhoa Complex Area (KKPCA) said, “We are appreciative of the partnership between the County of Hawai‘i, the Department of Education Facilities Section Duane Kashiwai, Nick Nichols, Tracy Okumura, Ka‘ū High Principal Sharon Beck and Athletic Director Kalei Namohala.  They worked diligently and quickly to figure out what was needed to award a construction contract before the fiscal year ended in June.  We are also grateful to Senator Gil Kahele and Representative Bob Herkes for securing funding for a new Gym and Shelter in Ka‘ū District.  Our students and the community are excited to have a new gym in their midst and continue to dream of possibilities once it is completed.”

A groundbreaking will be held prior to the start of construction.

 

Wordless Wednesday – Ippy’s Restaurant