3 Stranded Men Found on Uninhabited Island After Using Palm Fronds to Spell Help

Three men who were stranded on an uninhabited Pacific island for three days are safe, Thursday, after using palm fronds to spell the word “help” in the sand.

Two of three men stranded on the uninhabited island of Fanadik in the Federated States of Micronesia wave life jackets as a U.S. Navy P-8A Poseidon aircraft from Patrol Squadron (VP) 5, assisting U.S. Coast Guard Hawaii Pacific, discovers them on Thursday.

Two of three men stranded on the uninhabited island of Fanadik in the Federated States of Micronesia wave life jackets as a U.S. Navy P-8A Poseidon aircraft from Patrol Squadron (VP) 5, assisting U.S. Coast Guard Hawaii Pacific, discovers them on Thursday.

A Navy P-8 Madfox 807 aircrew from Misawa Air Base in Japan was conducting a search pattern for the missing mariners when they spotted survivors holding lifejackets and their makeshift sign. This information was relayed back to search and rescue watchstanders in Guam and shared with the family. The survivors were then picked up and transferred by a local small boat to Pulap.

Watchstanders at the Sector Guam Command Center received notification from a Chuuk search and rescue liaison at 11:07 a.m. Tuesday of the overdue skiff en route the island of Weno.

Watchstanders issued an urgent marine information broadcast, coordinated the assistance of the Navy P-8 aircrew and vessels in the area of the skiff’s last known location to assist in the search. AMVER vessels Brilliant Jupiter and Ten Yu Maru diverted and conducted a combined 17 hours and searched 178 miles of track-line. The Navy P-8 aircrew launched at 6 a.m. Thursday to assist in the search and located the men approximately two hours into their search.

“Our combined efforts coupled with the willingness of many different resources to come together and help, led to the successful rescue of these three men in a very remote part of the Pacific,” said Lt. William White, Sector Guam public affairs officer.

AMVER, sponsored by the Coast Guard, is a computer-based voluntary global ship reporting system used worldwide by search and rescue authorities. With AMVER, rescue coordinators can identify participating ships in the area of distress and divert the vest-sited ship or ships to respond.

Since March 28, watchstanders throughout the Coast Guard 14th District have coordinated rescue efforts in the Pacific for seven separate search and rescue cases of this nature, involving 10 AMVER vessels and six aircrews resulting in 15 lives saved.

“The Coast Guard 14th District covers an area of responsibility more than 12.2 million square miles of land and sea, an area almost twice the size of Russia,” said Jennifer Conklin, search and rescue mission coordinator at the Coast Guard Command Center Honolulu. “Oftentimes, we are thousands of miles away from those who need help and because of that our partnerships with the Navy, other search and rescue organizations, partner Pacific nations and AMVER are essential.”

As part of Pacific Partnership 2015, Coast Guard members conducted outreach in Chuuk and provided boating safety equipment such as lifejackets, radar reflectors and signaling mirrors.

Halemaumau Summit Lava Lake Level Drops

HVO geologist uses a laser rangefinder to measure the depth of the lava lake at the summit of Kīlauea in the Overlook crater. The lake level was about 58 m (190 ft) below the crater rim this afternoon.

Lava Lake Drops

In recent days the lake level has dropped about 35 m (115 ft) as tiltmeters at the summit have recorded a larger than usual deflationary trend. The spattering of the lava lake (middle right of photograph) was triggered by a small rockfall from the north crater wall directly above. Large rockfalls into the lake typically cause small explosions that hurl molten lava onto the rim of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater, one of the hazards of this area. The tripod in lower right supports one of the Web cams used to track activity of the lava lake.

Thermal Image taken this evening at 7:15 Hawaii Standard Time:

This image is from a temporary thermal camera located on the south rim of Halemaʻumaʻu and looking steeply toward the north at the active Halemaʻumaʻu vent.  The temperature scale is in degrees Celsius up to a maximum of 500 degrees (932 degrees Fahrenheit) for this camera model, and scales automatically based on the maximum and minimum temperatures within the frame.  Thick fume, image pixel size and other factors often result in image temperatures being lower than actual surface temperatures.

This image is from a temporary thermal camera located on the south rim of Halemaʻumaʻu and looking steeply toward the north at the active Halemaʻumaʻu vent. The temperature scale is in degrees Celsius up to a maximum of 500 degrees (932 degrees Fahrenheit) for this camera model, and scales automatically based on the maximum and minimum temperatures within the frame. Thick fume, image pixel size and other factors often result in image temperatures being lower than actual surface temperatures.

Honolulu Bans Non-Essential Publicly-Funded Travel to North Carolina and Mississippi Due to LGBT Discrimination Bills

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell on Thursday issued a moratorium on non-essential publicly-funded travel by city employees to the states of North Carolina and Mississippi.

Hawaii Rainbow Flag

Similar actions have been taken by municipalities across the country after lawmakers in North Carolina and Mississippi recently enacted laws that endorse discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression.

“This moratorium sends a clear message to states where discrimination against people in the LGBT community, as well as any discrimination based on race, religion, color, national origin, age, biological sex, or handicap, is tolerated,” said Mayor Caldwell. “Hopefully, common sense and our core American values of equality and tolerance will prevail in these states, allowing us to lift this moratorium.”

Also today, Mayor Caldwell joined the newly formed coalition group Mayors Against Discrimination spearheaded by San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee. Currently, the coalition also includes the mayors of Seattle, New York City, Philadelphia, Portland, Oakland, Sante Fe, Washington, D.C., and Tampa, with a quickly growing list of Mayors who are standing against bigotry and hatred. The press release is attached.