Coast Guard Suspends Search for Overboard Crewmember of Container Ship

The Coast Guard suspended the search Wednesday for a Japanese crewmember reported overboard from the container ship Hercules Highway, approximately 805 miles northeast of Oahu.

Container ship Hercules Highway

Container ship Hercules Highway

Watchstanders at the Coast Guard Joint Rescue Coordination Center were notified at approximately 8:23 a.m., Monday regarding the 23-year-old male who was reported overboard from the container ship Hercules Highway.

The crewmember was last seen at approximately 7 p.m., Sunday.

As part of the AMVER program, the motor vessel’s St. Andrews, Anne Gret and the UACC Masafi assisted the Hercules Highway in the search for the crewmember.

AMVER, sponsored by the Coast Guard, is a unique, computer-based, and voluntary global ship reporting system used worldwide by search and rescue authorities to arrange for assistance to persons in distress at sea. With AMVER, rescue coordinators can identify participating ships in the area of distress and divert the best-suited ship or ships to respond.

Approximately 2,255 square miles were searched.

The Coast Guard regularly coordinates with DoD, commercial vessels that are part of the AMVER program and international partners to conduct searches in the Pacific where extreme distances often limit the resources immediately available to respond.

The 14th Coast Guard District area of responsibility encompasses more than 12.2 million square miles of the Central and South Pacific.

 

Man Overboard! Coast Guard Searching for Man Reported Overboard from Container Ship

The Coast Guard is searching for a male crewmember reported overboard from a container ship approximately 805 miles northeast of Oahu, Monday.

Watchstanders at the Coast Guard Joint Rescue Coordination Center were notified at approximately 8:23 a.m., regarding a 23-year-old male Japanese national who was reported overboard from the container ship Hercules Highway.

Container ship Hercules Highway

Container ship Hercules Highway

The crewmember was last seen at approximately 7 p.m., Sunday.

An HC-130 Hercules airplane crew from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point launched to the scene and the ship has changed course and is searching for the missing crewmember.

As part of the AMVER program, the motor vessel’s St. Andrews, Anne Gret and the UACC Masafi are assisting in the search.

The Coast Guard regularly coordinates with DoD, commercial vessels that are part of the AMVER program and international partners to conduct searches in the Pacific where extreme distances often limit the resources immediately available to respond. The 14th Coast Guard District area of responsibility encompasses more than 12.2 million square miles of the Central and South Pacific.
AMVER, sponsored by the Coast Guard, is a unique, computer-based, and voluntary global ship reporting system used worldwide by search and rescue authorities to arrange for assistance to persons in distress at sea. With AMVER, rescue coordinators can identify participating ships in the area of distress and divert the best-suited ship or ships to respond.

Weather conditions on scene are winds of approximately 28 mph, seas of 12 feet and a water temperature of approximately 69 degrees.

For more information, contact the 14th Coast Guard District external affairs office at (808) 535-3230.

Search for Possible Missing Kayaker Near Kauai

The Coast Guard is searching for a possible missing kayaker approximately half a mile northeast of Kilauea Point on the north shore of Kauai, Saturday.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Station Kauai received a call at 11:11 a.m. from a good Samaritan on shore stating that she noticed an unmanned, adrift yellow kayak in the area.

The Kauai Fire Department located the kayak with dive gear that included fins, a wet suit, paddle and weights aboard. The Fire Department searched in the vicinity of the kayak and found no one in distress.

KayakThe kayak is approximately 15 feet long with the words “KAYAKKAUAI.COM” and “OCEAN KAYAK,” and a single line hanging off the side. There are no other markings on the kayak.

A 47-foot Motor Lifeboat crew from Station Kauai is actively searching the area.

No one has been reported missing or in distress in the area.

The Coast Guard advises the public to register and label all watercraft and equipment with contact information in order to quickly account for owners and prevent any unnecessary searches.

Through the Operation Paddle Smart program, the Coast Guard offers a free “If Found” decal to be placed in a visible location on small, human-powered watercraft. The information on the sticker can allow response entities to quickly identify the vessel’s owner and aid search and rescue planners in determining the best course of action.

The stickers can be obtained for free at local harbormasters, the Coast Guard Auxiliary, from Honolulu Sail and Power Squadron offices and at select marine retail and supply stores.

The Coast Guard is asking mariners to keep a sharp eye out for anyone possibly in distress.

Anyone with information can help identify the owner of the kayak is asked to contact the Coast Guard Sector Honolulu Command Center at (808) 842-2600.

Air Museums Receiving Retiring Navy Aircraft

The first of the Navy Lockheed P-3 Orion aircraft retires to Naval Air Museum Barbers Point, Kapolei today.

Lockheed P-3 Orion

Lockheed P-3 Orion

Barbers Point Museum President Brad Hays and Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor Executive Director Ken DeHoff welcomed this historic submarine hunting workhorse from Navy Squadron VP-47 located on Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Kaneohe Bay unit today. The Navy is replacing the P-3 with Boeing’s P-8A Poseidon, the military version based on the commercial airlines 737-800, scheduled to begin in 2016.

Hays said, “I am very proud to accept this aircraft as it helps tell the story of naval aviation at Barbers Point.” DeHoff said Pacific Aviation Museum would be receiving a P-3 from Navy Squadron VP-U2 next month. Both aircraft are on loan from National Museum of Naval Aviation and will be displayed in different colors and the configuration of their units and the missions they flew. Both Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor located on Ford Island, and Naval Air Museum Barbers Point located at Kalaeloa Airport, work together to preserve aircraft and tell their stories. Visitors are welcome.

Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization, which depends on membership and donations for support. A Smithsonian Affiliate Museum, it is rated one of the top 10 aviation attractions nationally by TripAdvisor®. It is located at 319 Lexington Boulevard, Historic Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, Oahu, Honolulu, Hawaii 96818, 808-441-1000.

Coast Guard Releases Information of Tuna Boat Sinking – Master and Chief Engineer Presumed Dead

The Coast Guard released the results of its investigation into the June 2010 sinking of the U.S. flagged Distant Water Tuna Fleet vessel Majestic Blue 2,100 miles southwest of Hawaii, Friday.

F/V Majestic Blue

F/V Majestic Blue

The investigation revealed twenty-two crewmembers safely abandoned ship and were rescued by a sister ship but the master and chief engineer remain missing and presumed deceased.

The investigation was unable to determine the exact cause of flooding that originated in the steering compartment where steel work was previously performed during an overseas shipyard visit.

However, the investigation determined that the immediate secondary cause of the sinking was due to a shipboard practice of leaving watertight doors open. This caused continued progressive flooding through the open doors throughout the vessel.

In addition, response to the flooding was hampered because the engineering officers could not read or communicate in English and were unfamiliar with emergency response procedures. Under special legislation afforded to the Distant Water Tuna Fleet only the vessel’s captain needed to be a U.S. citizen.

The Coast Guard investigating officer recommended and the Coast Guard commandant concurred that a large fishing vessel of this size should receive additional oversight.

“A benefit of sharing a report of investigation is an opportunity for all fishermen and mariners to learn something from this casualty,” said Cmdr. Jonathan Maiorine, chief of inspections and investigations for the Fourteenth Coast Guard District. “By reevaluating their own onboard procedures for training, communications and emergency drills we hope to prevent similar tragedies in the future.”

Click to view report

Click to view report

The entire report of investigation is available for download on the Coast Guard Homeport website under the investigations tab.

For more information regarding the report of investigation, contact Cmdr. Jonathan Maiorine at (808) 535-3421.

Navy Finds Boat Grounded in Reef at Pearl Harbor – May Be Japan Tsunami Debris

Chief Warrant Officer Three (CWO3) Timothy Greene, Port Operations, at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, and Paul Sensano, Deptartment of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) paddle a 12-foot long skiff which was grounded on a reef near Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam on March 8.

 U.S. Navy photo by MC1 Nardel Gervacio

U.S. Navy photo by MC1 Nardel Gervacio

The skiff, possible marine debris from the Japan Tsunami of March 11, 2011, appeared in waters near Pearl Harbor, and posed both a navigational hazard as well as potentially damaging the shallow reef. Greene and Sensano righted the skiff and secured it before moving it to the Hickam boat ramp for removal.

To date, 17 large items including boats or skiffs have been identified in Hawaii as being associated with the tsunami.

Former Hawaii Superferry to Serve US Navy in Western Pacific

The Hawaii Superferry when it was harbored in Honolulu

The Hawaii Superferry when it was harbored in Honolulu

According to Defense News one of the former Hawaii superferries will be put into service in the Western Pacific:

Q. What is the rationale for counting Joint High-Speed Vessels (JHSVs)?

A. JHSVs would be a support ship. An important connector. In peacetime, they’re going to be operating forward supporting Navy Expeditionary Combat Command and riverine forces; theater cooperation forces such as the Seabees, point-to-point transportation of Marine Corps and Army forces. And in wartime they will be doing inter-theater transport.

I think of them as the LST [landing ship tank] of the total force battle network. Very shallow draft, can go into these austere ports and offload capability in support of the battle force. They will be very, very useful.

The [two recently-acquired] Hawaii Superferries [known as high-speed vessels, or HSVs] will not count. They do not have the capabilities of the JHSV, all they have are airline seats and you can put stuff on them. The JHSVs are specifically designed to support a company combat team. There are 104 racks, 312 airline bunks. They’re designed to transport an intact company combat team.

We will debate whether the HSVs should count as part of the high-speed vessel force that will be operating. But the JHSV and the HSV are not interchangeable.

So the universe of things we’re debating right now is how you count the PCs, the mine warfare vessels, the hospital ships and the Hawaii Superferries. The rest of the force will probably stay.

[NOTE: One of those Hawaii Superferries is being put into service in the Western Pacific to support Japan-based Marines, replacing a ship named WestPac Express. The Navy now has decided that the replacement ferry will count toward the battle force.]

You can read the full article here:  New US Navy Counting Rules Add Up To More Ships

 

President Obama Reappoints Gov. Abercrombie to Council of Governors

President Barack Obama has reappointed Gov. Neil Abercrombie to the Council of Governors, the White House announced this week. The council consists of 10 governors appointed by the President to focus on matters of national security, homeland defense, synchronization and integration of state and military activities in the United States and matters of mutual interest pertaining to the National Guard.

Abercrombie Council of Governors“I am honored to have the opportunity to continue serving on the Council of Governors, which gives Hawaii a strong voice, together with our congressional delegation, in future decisions regarding the protection of our state and nation,” said Gov. Neil Abercrombie. “During a productive and successful trip this month to the National Governors Association (NGA) Winter Meeting in Washington, D.C., I attended a Council of Governors meeting that addressed the Pentagon’s recently proposed cuts to the Army and Air National Guard. During the meeting, I was able to help formulate and sign a bipartisan letter from 50 governors, urging further discussion on budget and policy issues involving the National Guard.”

While in Washington, the Governor also participated in NGA sessions focusing on education, job training, homeland security and public safety, as well as attended four meetings/events at the White House.

The Council of Governors was established by Section 1822 of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2008 and implemented by Presidential Executive Order 13528. In addition to the 10 council members (five from each political party), charter federal participants include the secretaries of Defense and Homeland Security, presidential homeland security and counterterrorism advisors, the commander of U.S. Northern Command, the commandant of the Coast Guard and the chief of the National Guard Bureau.

Coast Guard Searching for Mariner in Distress Off the Big Island

UPDATE:

A mariner aboard a 24-foot sailboat 944 miles from the main Hawaiian Islands is safe and continuing his voyage to San Francisco after surviving a gale-force storm in the Pacific.

The Coast Guard suspended the search Thursday for the sailing vessel Pier Pressure after communication was established with the owner, Rimas Meleshyus.

At 5:15 p.m., Meleshyus updated his coordinates and sent a text message via satellite device stating he was ok and did not need any assistance.

Watchstanders at the Joint Rescue Coordination Center received notification Thursday morning from a concerned friend that Meleshyus transmitted a text via satellite stating, “I lost my life raft, in danger now.”

Meleshyus departed Hilo, Hawaii, Feb. 9 on a solo voyage to San Francisco aboard his sailboat.

After unsuccessful attempts were made to establish communications with Meleshyus via cell phone, computer and satellite device, the Coast Guard launched a rescue mission in search of the distressed mariner.

An HC-130 Hercules aircraft crew from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point, the Coast Guard Cutter Kukui, homeported in Honolulu, and two Good Samaritan vessels were enroute to the sailboat’s last known position when Meleshyus established communication.

The Coast Guard advises all mariners to ensure they have all necessary safety equipment aboard and that it is in working condition before heading out on the water. This includes having appropriate safety and communications equipment such as lifejackets and a working VHF radio, checking local weather conditions and ensuring the vessel is seaworthy.

The Coast Guard is coordinating the search for a mariner in distress aboard a 24-foot sailboat approximately 944 miles northeast of the main Hawaiian Islands.

Rimas in Hilo on December 17, 2013

Rimas in Hilo on December 17, 2013

At 8:47 a.m., watchstanders at the Joint Rescue Coordination Center received notification from a concerned friend that the vessel’s owner, Rimas Meleshyus, transmitted a text via satellite stating, “I lost my life raft, in danger now.”

Meleshyus departed Hilo, Hawaii, Feb. 9 on a solo voyage to San Francisco aboard his vessel Pier Pressure.

Rimas Meleshyus's boat the

Rimas Meleshyus’s Sailboat

Attempts were made to establish communications with Meleshyus via cell phone, computer and satellite device.

At 10:32 a.m., an HC-130 Hercules aircraft crew from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point on Oahu diverted from a training mission and is enroute to the vessel’s last known position.The flight to the Pier Pressure’s last known position is approximately four hours. The Coast Guard Cutter Kukui, a 225-foot buoy tender homeported in Honolulu was also diverted to assist in the search.

Coast Guard watchstanders have identified two Good Samaritan vessels in the area. The Liberia-flagged tanker ship Athens Star and Bahama-flagged carrier ship Lapis Arrow have diverted to assist.

The Coast Guard also requested, through the Federal Aviation Administration, that aircraft passing through the area remain alert for any signs of distress.

Weather conditions at the last known position of the Pier Pressure are gale force winds and seas of 20 feet.

For more information, contact the 14th Coast Guard District public affairs office at (808) 535-3230.

According to his Facebook page… he was heading to Samoa:

Rimas Meleshyus

February 8

I tomorrow leave now for American Somoa. To all so grateful for help and friendship! So thankful! In morning I set sail for open sea 7:30!

 

Four Rescued From Disabled Boat 12 Miles Off Oahu

Four adults are safe after being rescued from a disabled boat approximately 12 miles northeast of Kaneohe Bay Monday afternoon.

Four adults are safe after being rescued from a disabled Boston Whaler approximately 12 miles northeast of Kaneohe Bay Monday afternoon.

Four adults are safe after being rescued from a disabled Boston Whaler approximately 12 miles northeast of Kaneohe Bay Monday afternoon.

At 3:14 p.m., Coast Guard Sector Honolulu was patched in to a call from the Honolulu Fire Department notifying watchstanders that a 19-foot Boston Whaler suffered an unknown engine casualty and was adrift. An individual aboard the vessel was able to contact the fire department via cell phone.

A 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew was dispatched from Coast Guard Station Honolulu at 3:36 p.m.

The boat crew arrived on scene at 5:15 p.m. and took the vessel in tow. The RB-M crew towed the vessel into Kaneohe Bay where it was met by a Good Samaritan who safely moored the disabled vessel at Hee’ia Kea Pier.

The vessel was boarded and issued a warning for expired flares. The Coast Guard advises all mariners to ensure they have all necessary safety equipment aboard and that it is in working condition. This includes flares, lifejackets and a working VHF radio. Cell phones are often unreliable off-shore and only provide one-on-one communication versus one-to-many with a VHF radio.

Mariners who want to ensure their vessel is safe and compliant with current regulations can request a free safety check by visiting www.vesselsafetycheck.org. For more information on boating safety, visit www.uscgboating.org.

For more information, contact the 14th Coast Guard District public affairs office at (808) 535-3230.

USS Lake Erie to Deploy to Western Pacific

The Hawaii-based Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Erie (CG 70) will depart Feb. 18 for a Western Pacific deployment, the ship’s last while being homeported in Pearl Harbor.

My Uncle and Aunt before they got a private tour of the USS Lake Erie.

My Uncle and Aunt before they got a private tour of the USS Lake Erie.

While deployed, Lake Erie will conduct theater security operations with partner nations while providing deterrence, promoting peace and security, preserving freedom of the seas and providing humanitarian assistance/disaster response.

Upon completion of this deployment, Lake Erie is expected to replace John Paul Jones as a rotational Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) deployer out of San Diego.

PACIFIC OCEAN (Jan. 27, 2014) Guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Erie (CG 70) operates with other cruisers off the coast of Hawaii during Koa Kai 14-1. Koa Kai is a semiannual exercise in the waters around Hawaii designed to prepare independent deployers in multiple warfare areas and provide training in multi-ship environment. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Johans Chavarro/ Released)

PACIFIC OCEAN (Jan. 27, 2014) Guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Erie (CG 70) operates with other cruisers off the coast of Hawaii during Koa Kai 14-1. Koa Kai is a semiannual exercise in the waters around Hawaii designed to prepare independent deployers in multiple warfare areas and provide training in multi-ship environment. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Johans Chavarro/ Released)

“We are trained and ready for deployment,” said Lake Erie Commanding Officer Capt. John S. Banigan. “I am very proud of this crew and all that they have accomplished. We have an amazing team of professionals, and I have the utmost faith in their abilities. I could not ask for a better group of Sailors to go to sea alongside.”

Lake Erie Commanding Officer Capt. John S. Banigan talks to some of his crew.

Lake Erie Commanding Officer Capt. John S. Banigan talks to some of his crew.

Lake Erie is one of 11 surface ships of Commander, Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific. USS Lake Erie is named in commemoration of the Battle of Lake Erie fought Sept. 10, 1813. During the pivotal engagement, Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry hoisted a crudely stitched flag bearing the dying words of his friend, Capt. James Lawrence, “DONT GIVE UP THE SHIP!” That proud motto served as the battle cry that day, and continues to inspire today.

I got to tour the ship in December of 2013.

I got to tour the ship in December of 2013.

U.S. Navy guided-missile cruisers are multi-mission surface combatants capable of supporting carrier strike groups, amphibious readiness groups, surface action groups or operating independently.

Commander, U.S. Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific leads and manages the overall warfighting capability of the Surface Combatant Force homeported at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH), Hawaii to achieve the highest levels of combat readiness; to coordinate with external organizations for products and services to directly support surface combatant force mission readiness; and to support the type commanders and numbered fleet commanders in the development of surface warfare requirements, policies, programs, standards, and business practices to meet operational readiness goals.

Hawaii Tuskegee Airmen a Big Hit at Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor Today

Lt. Col. Alexander Jefferson, USAF (Ret.) from Michigan, Hawaii’s own Tuskegee Airman Philip Baham, Dr. Dorothy Goldsborough, PhD, and a panel of members of the Baham Goldsborough Chapter of the Hawaii Tuskegee Airmen discussed the legacy of the first African-American military aviators who served during WWII. The Hangar Talk, “Tuskegee Airmen Then and Now” in the Museum Theater was followed with a Meet & Greet in the Gallery. Both in Hangar 37.

Tuskegee3

Lt. Col. Alexender Jefferson, USAF (Ret.) flew P-51s with the “Red Tail”  332nd Fighter Group 301st Fighter Squadron escorting B-17s and B-24s. He was shot down over Germany after flying 18 long range missions and was a prisoner of war for nine months. After the war, he became a science teacher and later an assistant principal in the Michigan school system. He is the author of Red Tail Captured, Red Tail Free: Memoirs of a Tuskegee Airman and POW.

Tuskegee1

One of the original WWII Tuskegee Airmen, Philip Baham was drafted into the Army Air Corps at 21 years of age and served as crew chief assigned to the 377th Composite Group at Tuskegee Field.

Dr. Dorothy Goldsborough, PhD, is a Professor Emerita at Chaminade University and a lecturer at University of Hawaii Manoa. She is the wife of the late Romaine Goldsborough, another documented original Tuskegee Airman who served in the 332nd Fighter Group during World War II.

On the panel, also were: Mario Taryer, Tuskegee Airmen Hawaii Chapter vice president and Master Chief Dewayne Barnes of Marine Corps Base Hawaii.

For more information, call (808) 441-1007, email Education@PacificAviationMuseum.org or visit online www.PacificAviationMuseum.org.

Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization, which depends on membership and donations for support. A Smithsonian Affiliate Museum, it is rated one of the top 10 aviation attractions nationally by TripAdvisor®. It is located at 319 Lexington Boulevard, Historic Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, Oahu, Honolulu, Hawaii 96818.  www.PacificAviationMuseum.org.

Living History Day at Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor Another Success

History came alive at Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor today Saturday, February 1, 2014, when visitors experienced the people, the aircraft, and the stories of Pacific aviation “stars” — from the early years of flight to today’s space age. Historical characters in period attire, a Pacific Warbirds T-6 flyover, the Nisei Veterans, musical performances, hands-on activities for the keiki, open cockpits to explore, and film screenings were featured.

Living History

Collected short films spotlighting the Asian-Pacific American experience were featured in the Museum’s Main Theater as part of the Smithsonian Young Historians, Living Histories Project. The two documentaries, researched and produced by students from Aliamanu Middle School on Oahu, explore the experiences of Pan Am Nisei stewardesses, and the life of Chinese American pioneer aviator Tom Gunn.

Living History Flyover tower

Living History Day activities also took place at Battleship Missouri Memorial, making this a full day of fun and learning on Historic Ford Island.

Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor is a 501(c) (3) private nonprofit organization that depends on memberships and donations for its Restoration and Education projects. Open 9am to 5pm daily the Museum’s two hangars and tower are located at 319 Lexington Boulevard, Historic Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, Oahu, Honolulu, Hawaii 96818. Named “one of the top 10 aviation attractions” nationally by TripAdvisor, it is a Smithsonian Affiliate Museum. Main contact: 808-441-1000; www.PacificAviationMuseum.org

Multiagency Search Locates Missing Fisherman Adrift and Out of Gas Off the Big Island

A fisherman is safe ashore after his vessel ran out of gas and he spent the night adrift off the coast of Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, Wednesday.

Lost Fishermen
At 6:11 p.m. Wednesday, watchstanders at the Coast Guard Sector Honolulu Command Center received a report from Hawaii Fire Department that a man was overdue from a fishing trip.

The fisherman was last seen Wednesday afternoon on his 17-foot fishing boat approximately 40 miles west of Kailua-Kona near a NOAA data buoy.

Watchstanders created a probable search area based on the limited available information and launched an HC-130 Hercules airplane crew from Air Station Barbers Point at 10:20 p.m. The Coast Guard Cutter Kittiwake, an 87-foot patrol boat, was also dispatched from its home-port in Honolulu.

The Hercules crew dropped two self-locating datum marker buoys to better calculate the probable drift of the vessel and to refine the search area using the search and rescue optimal planning system, a computer program which factors in numerous variables to give responders a better chance of finding someone lost at sea.

At 1:20 a.m., the Hercules airplane crew spotted a boat within the area of interest nine miles west of Kailua-Kona with an individual waving his arms to get their attention. The Hercules circled the boat until Kittiwake arrived at 4 a.m. to take the vessel in tow.

Kittiwake safely transferred the passenger and vessel to a Hawaii County Fire Department rescue boat who continued the tow to Keauhou Marina.

“We are thankful that the C-130 and Coast Guard Cutter Kittiwake were able to locate the fisherman,” said Lt. Cmdr. James Bendle, search and rescue mission coordinator for Coast Guard Sector Honolulu. “It was a team effort that spanned multiple units including our partners at the Hawaii County Fire Department who searched the shorelines last night ultimately completing the tow and safely delivering the man to his family this morning.”

The fisherman was wearing a lifejacket, but was not equipped with other essential safety equipment such as a working VHF radio, flares and an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon. Mariners should also file a float plan, which can provide critical information to first responders on where to search. Individuals should always stay with their vessel, even if capsized, as it improves their chance of being located.

The Coast Guard strongly encourages boaters to remain aware of their vessel’s fuel capacity and other limitations while operating offshore of the Hawaiian Islands, especially during times of severe weather and high surf.

For more information on boating safety, visit ww.uscgboating.org.

For more information, contact the Coast Guard Sector Honolulu public affairs officer at (808) 842-2657.

If additional imagery becomes available, it will be published in an updated release.

Senator Hirono Announces Four Big Island Students Selected as Class of 2018 Nominees to U.S. Service Academies

Senator Mazie K. Hirono today announced her nomination list of 32 students to the U.S. military service academies for the Class of 2018. The students’ applications are now being considered by the four academies for final selections.

Congresswoman Hirono Introduces Resolution Honoring Mother Marianne of Molokai (file photo)

Congresswoman Hirono Introduces Resolution Honoring Mother Marianne of Molokai (file photo)

Four students were selected from Hawaii Island. Hirono has nominated James Whalen of Makua Lani Christian Academy, Scott Takahashi of Waiakea High School, and Christopher Hutt and Phil K. Aganus both of Kamehameha Schools – Keaau.

U.S. Air Force Academy: James Whalen (Kailua Kona), Makua Lani Christian Academy
James Whalen is both a tremendous athlete and model student. Mr. Whalen is a varsity athlete in soccer, tennis, and cross country, and was selected for the Olympic Development Program State Selection Camp in 2011. He currently sits on the Honor Roll and has received the Principal’s Award for his academic achievements. Additionally, he has been a dedicated member of the Boy Scouts and in August of 2013 went to the Eagle Board of Review.

U.S. Military Academy at West Point: Scott Takahashi (Hilo), Waiakea High School
Scott Takahashi plans to commit his life to a career in the U.S. Army and follow in the footsteps of his father, uncles, and grandfather. After much research and consideration, has come to the decision that he would benefit most from the training and responsibilities provided to officers and academy cadets in order to contribute most to the Army and military as a whole. Mr. Takahashi participates in JROTC at his high school and was introduced to the idea of attending an Academy by his senior instructor during his freshman year of high school.

U.S. Naval Academy: Christopher Hutt (Keaau), Kamehameha Schools – Keaau
Christopher Hutt has decided that pursuing a career in the military through an education at a service academy is the path in life he wants to follow. He came to this conclusion under the influence of his family’s various roles in the military, specifically his father’s time in the U.S. Navy. Mr. Hutt has since joined the Civil Air Patrol and is frequently building his leadership capacity. He believes that the Naval Academy helps cadets to develop courage, leadership, and character.

U.S. Air Force Academy: Phil K. Aganus (Hilo), Kamehameha Schools – Keaau
Phil Aganus is interested in pursuing an education at the U.S. Air Force Academy, as he sees the school as a series of physical and mental challenges with the teachings and core values of leadership and service. Mr. Aganus would eventually like to become a pilot or engineer. He is a scholar and a varsity athlete in football (where he is also the team captain), soccer, and track and field, and won the Scholar Athlete award, something given to a student with both scholastic and athletic achievements.

The four military service academies are: the U.S. Air Force Academy, the U.S. Military Academy, the U.S. Naval Academy and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.

U.S. Representatives and Senators submit nominations to the four service academies. Each academy’s director of admissions then selects from the submitted lists of nominees who are measured on their scholastic achievement, leadership experience, school involvement, athletic and extra-curricular activities, community contributions and volunteer or employment experiences. Nomination does not guarantee appointment.

Full List – Senator Hirono’s Class of 2018 Academy Nominations:

U.S. Naval Academy

  • Anna Cochrane (Kapolei), Moanalua High School
  • Michael B. Compton (Kailua), Le Jardin Academy
  • Christopher Hutt (Keaau), Kamehameha Schools – Keaau
  • Kristen Kadooka (Kailua), Kalaheo High School
  • Maximo Mejia (Honolulu), Roosevelt High School
  • Zachary Moore (Kailua), Le Jardin Academy
  • Kanoeala Nakoa (Honolulu), Kaiser High School
  • Drew Olice (Aiea), Radford High School
  • Kaila A. Wang (Honolulu), Honolulu Community College
  • Joseph D.K. Yokoi (Kaneohe), Kamehameha Schools – Kapalama

U.S. Air Force Academy

  • Phil K. Aganus (Hilo), Kamehameha Schools – Keaau
  • Jennifer Borzilleri (Kapolei), Island Pacific Academy
  • Conner Chung (Honolulu), Sacred Hearts Academy
  • Jason C. Evans (Kaneohe), Kalaheo High School
  • Marissa Goo (Kapaa), Kapaa High School
  • Trent Hori (Kahului), Maui High School
  • Keoki Massad (Honolulu), Kamehameha Schools – Kapalama
  • Devon H. Miller (Aiea), Grammar School at Leeds (England)
  • Harmony Pacheco (Honolulu), Kamehameha Schools – Kapalama
  • James Whalen (Kailua Kona), Makua Lani Christian Academy

U.S. Military Academy at West Point

  • Iain J. Armitage (Kula), Kamehameha Schools – Maui
  • Shiloh Begley (Kapaa), Kapaa High School
  • Andrew Drake (Kaneohe), Kalaheo High School
  • Ethan Finberg (Kula), Seabury Hall
  • Jensen Fontanilla (Honolulu), Iolani School
  • Seamus Hurley (Wahiawa), Saint Louis School
  • Erin K.G. Lindsey (Kula), Kamehameha Schools – Maui
  • Bradley Pierce (Kailua), Le Jardin Academy
  • Scott Takahashi (Hilo), Waiakea High School
  • Gabriel K. Yarbrough (Kailua), Kalaheo High School

U.S. Merchant Marine Academy

  • Nathan Fields (Mililani), Leilehua High School
  • Erin Scheidt (Waipahu), Kamehameha Schools – Kapalama

“Tuskegee Airmen” Hangar Talk Scheduled for Saturday, February 8 During Black History Month

Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor will welcome Hawaii’s own Tuskegee Airman Philip Baham, Dr. Dorothy Goldsborough, and a panel of Black History experts, as they discuss the stories and the legacy of the first African-American military aviators who served during WWII. The Hangar Talk, “Tuskegee Airmen Then and Now” is Saturday, February 8, 2014, 2 to 4pm in the Museum Theater.

Members of the Tuskegee Airmen (Courtesy of Wikipedia)

Members of the Tuskegee Airmen (Courtesy of Wikipedia)

The panel discussion will begin at 2pm, followed by an audience question and answer session. A Meet and Greet with the panelists will follow at 3pm. The event is free with regular Museum admission and free to Museum Members.

One of the original WWII Tuskegee Airmen, Philip Baham was drafted into the Army Air Corps at 21 years of age and served as crew chief assigned to the 377th Composite Group at Tuskegee Field. Despite facing the racial injustice prevalent throughout his career, Mr. Baham continued to serve his country, achieving the rank of TSgt in the newly formed United States Air Force. Mr. Baham received a number of medals and commendations for his service. He is a founding member of Hawaii’s Artis-Baham-Goldsborough Chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen and is a volunteer docent at Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor.

Dr. Dorothy Goldsborough is a Professor Emerita at Chaminade University and a lecturer at University of Hawaii Manoa. She is the wife of the late Romaine Goldsborough, another documented original Tuskegee Airman who served in the 332nd Fighter Group during World War II.

For more information, call (808) 441-1007, email Education@PacificAviationMuseum.org or visit online www.PacificAviationMuseum.org.

Coast Guard Suspends Search for Missing Cruise Ship Crewmember

The Coast Guard suspended the search Wednesday for a 34-year old male Filipino crewmember reported overboard from the cruise ship Grand Princess approximately 1,133 miles northeast of Hilo.

The Grand Princess

The Grand Princess

The SLDMB is used in search and rescue missions and is equipped with a GPS sensor. Upon deployment in the water, it transmits its location periodically to the Coast Guard to assist with developing search areas.

As part of the AMVER program, the container ship Horizon Reliance along with the Grand Princess’s sister ship Star Princess assisted in search efforts.

More than 4,900 square miles were searched.

Watchstanders at the Coast Guard Joint Rescue Coordination Center in Honolulu were notified at approximately 12 a.m. Tuesday that the 34-year old was overboard.

“Suspending a search is always an incredibly difficult decision to make,” said Lt. Justin Gear, a command duty officer of the Coast Guard Joint Rescue Coordination Center. “It’s done with much deliberation and after a concerted effort to ensure that the Coast Guard has conducted a thorough search and saturated all probable locations for a survivor. We offer our thoughts and prayers to the family and loved ones.”

USS John Paul Jones to Replace USS Lake Erie; USS Preble Also Moving to Hawaii

The U.S. Navy announced Jan. 7 that USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53) will swap homeports with USS Lake Erie (CG 70) this summer. USS Preble (DDG 88) will also leave San Diego for Hawaii this summer to replace the decommissioned frigate USS Reuben James (FFG 57).

I got this coin a few weeks ago when I went on a tour of the USS Lake Erie

I got this coin a few weeks ago when I went on a tour of the USS Lake Erie

Moving the two guided-missile destroyers to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam will provide updated, advanced Aegis capabilities to Commander, Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific (CNSGMP). It will also allow Lake Erie, a Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser, to proceed to San Diego for a scheduled extended docking ship repair availability (EDSRA).

James and Phyllis Tucker Vow Renewal 118

Lake Erie is expected to replace John Paul Jones as a rotational Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) deployer out of San Diego once the EDSRA is complete. John Paul Jones and Preble are Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers that perform key roles in support of a carrier strike group, expeditionary strike group or surface action group. John Paul Jones is currently the most technologically advanced ship within the BMD program and will be used in that capacity to support the Navy and Missile Defense Agency testing program. Recently, the ship was updated with the latest Aegis BMD capability to engage ballistic missiles with the SM-3 missile.

James and Phyllis Tucker Vow Renewal 049

DDGs are capable of sustained combat operations supporting forward presence, maritime security, sea control and deterrence. These combatants operate in a network centric warfare environment and execute multi-mission tasking to include air, surface, undersea, space and cyber warfare. DDGs coordinate with units of a task group to conduct naval operations and execute the Maritime Strategy under a naval component commander.

James and Phyllis Tucker Vow Renewal 038

USS Reuben James, the last remaining guided-missile frigate homeported in Hawaii, was decommissioned July 18, 2013 after nearly 30 years of distinguished naval service.

Maintaining the most technologically advanced ships supports the United States’ commitment to the security, stability and prosperity of the Indo-Asia-Pacific.

Man Overboard! Search for Overboard Cruise Crewmember Underway in Pacific

The search is underway for a crewmember reported overboard from a cruise ship approximately 1,133 miles northeast of Hilo, Tuesday.

Watchstanders at the Coast Guard Joint Rescue Coordination Center were notified at approximately 12 a.m., regarding a 34-year-old male Filipino national who was reported overboard from the Grand Princess.

The Grand Princess

The Grand Princess

The crewmember was last seen at approximately 10:26 p.m., Monday.

An HC-130 Hercules airplane crew from Coast Guard Air Station Barber’s Point is currently on scene and the cruise ship has changed course and is searching for the missing passenger.

As part of the AMVER program, the container ship Horizon Reliance is assisting in the search along with the Grand Princess’s sister ship, Star Princess.

AMVER, sponsored by the Coast Guard, is a unique, computer-based, and voluntary global ship reporting system used worldwide by search and rescue authorities to arrange for assistance to persons in distress at sea. With AMVER, rescue coordinators can identify participating ships in the area of distress and divert the best-suited ship or ships to respond.
Weather conditions on scene are winds of approximately 20 mph, seas of 7 feet and a water temperature of approximately 70 degrees.

For more information, contact the 14th Coast Guard District external affairs office at (808) 535-3230.

A Private Tour Aboard US Navy Ship the USS Lake Erie

On Monday, December 23rd, I was given the opportunity to get a private tour aboard the US Navy Ship the USS Lake Erie with James and Phyllis Tucker (my uncle and aunt) that were celebrating their 50th anniversary and renewing their wedding vows the following day.

My Uncle and Aunt on the back end of the USS Lake Erie.

My Uncle and Aunt on the back end of the USS Lake Erie. (Click to enlarge)

I began the day with giving them a tour of Pearl Harbor.  One thing I learned is that if you want to catch that first boat out to the USS Arizona Memorial… you need to be at Pearl Harbor very early.

At Pearl Harbor.  USS Arizona Memorial in background. (Click to enlarge)

At Pearl Harbor. USS Arizona Memorial in background. (Click to enlarge)

Unfortunately, we arrived at Pearl Harbor around 8:00 and when we got our tickets to go out to the USS Arizona the time of our departure was 12:45 in the afternoon so instead of visiting the Arizona Memorial we just cruised around Pearl Harbor.

Checking out WWII displays.

Checking out WWII displays.  (Click to enlarge)

At 10:30 I had an appointment set up with a Public Affairs Officer to meet with them at the Navy’s Pass and ID Gate.  We arrived their shortly after 10:00 and let them know that we were waiting for them at the location agreed upon.  My Uncle, Aunt and I then climbed into a Navy van where we were lead into the confines of Pearl Harbor.  I had not told my Uncle or Aunt what we were about to do previously, however, I did tell them to be prepared and wear some walking shoes.

Life on board a Navy ship requires a lot of walking and going up and down ladders and stairs.

Life on board a Navy ship requires a lot of walking and going up and down ladders and stairs

As we arrived at the USS Lake Erie my uncle said “That’s a big ship!”.  At this point I broke the news to them that we were getting a private invitation aboard the ship and I don’t know what they were thinking but I know my uncle was pretty excited about it.

Signing in to the ship and showing ID.

Signing in to the ship and showing ID

We signed in with Navy personnel fronting the ship and showed them are identification so that we could get boarding passes and then quickly made our way aboard the ship.

Learning first hand about the capabilities of the ship.

Learning first hand about the capabilities of the ship

We met Lt. Hillenbrand on board the ship and he told us that he would act as our escort around the boat.  We started at the front of the ship where Lt. Hillenbrand talked to us about the fighting capabilities of the ship and a little history about the ship.

"That's a big gun" said James Tucker.

“That’s a big gun” said James Tucker

USS Lake Erie (CG-70) is a Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser of the United States Navy, named after the U.S. Navy’s decisive victory in the Battle of Lake Erie during the War of 1812. She is the first U.S. Navy ship to be commissioned in Hawaii.  Lake Erie’s motto, “Courage, Determination, Peace,” honors the memory of the men who fought the Battle of Lake Erie and Mrs. Margaret Meyer. Courage to fight, Determination to win, with Peace as the ultimate goal.”

We had the first hand opportunity to see the upkeep of the ship that is done by the sailors as folks were grinding away rust and painting the ship… some folks literally using small brushes to get in the tiniest of spots.

The Commander of the Ship told us “If we take care of the ship… the ship will take care of us”.

The Commander of the Ship told us “If we take care of the ship… the ship will take care of us”

At ll:00 we made our way to the entrance of the ship as Lieutenant Commander Troy Noonen was awarded a Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal for his time served aboard the ship as this would be his last day on the ship after serving on her for since May of 2011.

The Commander gives Lt. Noonen a certificate for his time aboard the ship.

The Commander gives Lt. Noonen a certificate for his time aboard the ship

Seeing Lt. Noonen off of the ship:

Lt. Noonens last moment on USS Lake Erie.

Lt. Noonen’s last moment on USS Lake Erie

We then continued on with our tour of the ship where we got to see the helicopter pad and where they store the helicopter and they explained how the helicopter was brought inside of the ship when not in use.

The helicopter pad.

The helicopter pad

We then moved to the bridge of the ship where we got to see where the ship is steered from… of course my uncle wanted to sit in the “Captain’s Chair”!  They talked to us about the general characteristics of the ship and how it was steered and what each seat was for within the bridge.

"You think the Captain would mine if I sat in his chair?"

“You think the Captain would mind if I sat in his chair?”

My uncle, aunt and I all learned a lot about the ship on our brief time above her.  I of course couldn’t get off the ship w/out landing another coin for my collection!

At the helm of the USS Lake Erie

At the helm of the USS Lake Erie

Here is a video of what they did back in September:

The Missile Defense Agency (MDA), U.S. Pacific Command, and U.S. Navy sailors aboard the USS Lake Erie (CG 70) successfully conducted a flight test today of the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) system, resulting in the intercept of a complex separating short-range ballistic missile target over the Pacific Ocean by the Aegis BMD 4.0 Weapon System and a Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IB guided missile.
At approximately 2:30 p.m. Hawaii Standard Time (8:30 p.m. EDT), a complex separating short-range ballistic missile target was launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai, Hawaii. The target flew northwest towards a broad ocean area of the Pacific Ocean. Following target launch, the USS Lake Erie detected and tracked the missile with its onboard AN/SPY-1 radar. The ship, equipped with the second-generation Aegis BMD weapon system, developed a fire control solution and launched two SM-3 Block IB guided missiles to engage the target. The first SM-3 that was launched successfully intercepted the target warhead. This was the first salvo mission of two SM-3 Block IB guided missiles launched against a single separating target. Official U.S. Navy Video courtesy Missile Defense Agency www.mda.mil

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge