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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.

Holland Man Missing in Volcanoes National Park Located

A man from Holland who was missing overnight from Kūlanaokuaiki Campground in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park on Tues., April 5 has been located.

Volcano Rainbow

Gerrit Voortis, 63, and his wife, were camping at Kūlanaokuaiki, a campground located off Hilina Pali Road Tuesday afternoon. Voortis left his wife to go on a short hike by himself, and did not bring water, a phone, or a backpack with him. Park dispatch was notified by another concerned camper when he failed to return later that afternoon. Neither a County of Hawai‘i helicopter pilot nor the park’s search-and-rescue (SAR) team could locate him by nightfall. The SAR team continued to search for him on the ground until 10 p.m.

Around 6:30 the next morning, Wed., April 6, the park’s contracted helicopter pilot spotted a glow from a small fire, and located the man northeast of the campground. The pilot landed, and search-and-rescue rangers treated him for dehydration. Voortis was in good condition, but was cold, hungry and very thirsty. The small fire he built for warmth the night before was extinguished by park rangers.

Voortis and his wife were reunited at the park’s Visitor Emergency Operations Center Wednesday morning, and both expressed gratitude for the efforts made in his rescue.

“It’s extremely important to be prepared when going on any hike, whether it’s a short walk, or an extended trek into the backcountry,” said Chief Ranger John Broward.  “Plan ahead, research the area, and always have plenty of water,” he said. A detailed checklist of safety tips is provided on the park website.

Coast Guard Coordinates, Assist Search Efforts for 9 Missing Boaters on 3 Separate Cases

Coast Guard and AMVER crews rescued three boaters in the waters between Chuuk and Puluwat Atoll, Federated States of Micronesia, Wednesday.  An HC-130 Hercules aircraft crew from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point on Oahu, located three additional boater missing near Tarawa and are coordinating their rescue by a commercial vessel and the same Hercules aircraft crew has been diverted to search for an additional vessel also with three boaters overdue near Tarawa.

Coast Guard C130In the first case, three boaters, several days overdue on a voyage from Chuuk to Puluwat Atoll, in the Federated States of Micronesia are safe in Puluwat Atoll, Wednesday, following a joint international search. The missing men were on a 19-foot skiff and located by the motor vessel Shoryu.  All three men were brought aboard the Shoryu and are reportedly to be in good condition. The skiff was placed in a side tow and the Shoryu took the three men to Puluwat. A family member reported the men overdue Monday, prompting a search by the Coast Guard.  Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Guam issued an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast alerting mariners in the region to the situation. The watchstanders coordinated search efforts of two Automated Mutual Assistance Vessel Rescue System ships: the Soma Maru and Shoryu and provided search patterns for each vessel.

In the second case near Tarawa, a Hercules aircraft crew located three boaters, missing for 8 days, just before noon, Wednesday. They dropped supplies from the plane to the boaters and the Coast Guard is working to identify a vessel in the area to relocate and rescue them. Watchstanders at the Coast Guard Joint Rescue Command Center in Honolulu were notified Monday, by search coordinators with the Rescue Coordination Center Nadi, Fiji, of an overdue 17-foot white and yellow skiff. The vessel reportedly had a 40 hp engine with 18 to 20 gallons of fuel on board and some fresh water. The skiff was reportedly last seen the morning of March 22 departing Teaoraereke Village, Tarawa, en route a fishing area 10 miles to the south. A Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3 Orion airplane crew completed a search Saturday with no sightings. The Coast Guard provided the Hercules aircrew Tuesday. Due to the distance the crew covered to get to the search area, roughly 2,400 miles the distance from Los Angeles to New York City, they were able to search for 1 hour on scene before needing to land for crew rest and to refuel. Their search resumed Wednesday at first light.

In the third case Coast Guard watchstanders in Honolulu are coordinating with search and rescue controllers at RCC Fiji to search for an overdue 18-foot skiff with three boaters aboard reportedly left Tarawa en route Maiana on a fishing trip.  The Coast Guard C-130 aircraft that searched on the second case has been diverted to begin searching the area. The missing 19-foot skiff is three days overdue on their return from fishing near Maiana.

“We sincerely appreciate the support and coordination of all our search and rescue partners. Due to the size and scope of the Pacific we depend on them to help us respond in a timely manner in remote locations,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Dustin Welch, a search and rescue controller at Coast Guard Joint Rescue Command Center Honolulu. “We also recommend to all boaters to be prepared for unforeseen interruptions in their voyages by being prepared with extra supplies and communications devices.”

Mariners are reminded a properly registered electronic position indicating radio beacon can make a dramatic difference not only in being located, but in the amount of time spent at sea. EPIRBs use satellites, not line-of-site like VHF radios or cellular towers, increasing their range and reliability. They’re highly accurate and once activated provide rescuers with excellent location information for anyone in distress, significantly reducing on scene search time.

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 best-suited ship or ships to respond.

Coast Guard Rescues 50-Year-Old Female Who Went for Accidental Overnight Swim

The Coast Guard rescued a 50-year-old female swimmer Sunday, who had reportedly been in the water overnight.
Keehi Lagoon
At 11:20 a.m.Sunday, good Samaritans aboard the Navatek I, a tour boat operating out of Honolulu, spotted the woman in distress in the vicinity of Ke’ehi Lagoon.

She was recovered by a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew from Coast Guard Station Honolulu at 11:30 a.m.

She was taken to Kewalo Basin Harbor where local emergency medical services personnel and the Honolulu Police Department were waiting to provide further assistance. The swimmer reportedly appeared in good condition and declined any medical services. 

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Honolulu’s command center received a call at 11:25 a.m.Sunday, from the captain of the Navatek I informing them that they located the swimmer approximately 1 mile out of Ke’ehi Lagoon.

The woman reportedly told responders she went swimming between 9 and 10 p.m. Saturday, in the Waikiki area and was taken out to sea by the current.

“It’s never a good idea to swim by yourself, especially at night,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class Aaron Lenk, a duty watchstander at Sector Honolulu. “If you are going out, inform someone where you plan to go as well as when you plan to return. That way if you do not return promptly, the proper authorities can be notified to search for you. We are happy that she was located safely especially after a long night in the water.”

USS Oklahoma Sailor to Receive Full Honors at Funeral Service – Identification Delayed 7 Decades

Navy Machinist’s Mate 1st Class Vernon T. Luke, 43, of Green Bay, Wisconsin, will be buried March 9 at 11:30 a.m. with full military honors at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl).

Navy Machinist's Mate 1st Class Vernon T. Luke

Navy Machinist’s Mate 1st Class Vernon T. Luke

Luke was aboard USS Oklahoma (BB 37) during Imperial Japan’s attack of Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. He was killed in action, but identification of his remains was delayed for more than seven decades.

Luke’s remains had been previously thought to be “unrecoverable” and “unidentifiable.” But thanks to determined efforts of Pearl Harbor Survivor and former Navy Chief Petty Officer Ray Emory, the remains of Luke and other USS Oklahoma Sailors were disinterred for identification by the Department of Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA). Emory was stationed aboard USS Honolulu (CL 48) on Dec. 7, 1941.

“Chief Ray Emory works tirelessly to get his shipmates identified and properly honored,” said Rear Adm. John Fuller, commander of Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific. “We owe Ray a huge debt of gratitude for his research, compassion and ongoing commitment to our Sailors and their families,” Fuller said.

Both Fuller and Emory will attend Luke’s funeral service and meet with family members. The service will include a flag detail, firing detail, bugler and military chaplain.

Coast Guard Searching for Owner of Found Kayak Near Kahaluu Beach Park

The Coast Guard is searching for the owner or operator of an unmanned adrift black kayak found one mile offshore of Kahaluu Beach Park, on the Big Island, Tuesday.

The Coast Guard is searching for the owner or operator of an unmanned adrift black kayak found 1 mile offshore of Kahaluu Beach Park, on the Big Island, Feb. 23, 2016. Anyone with information that may help identify the owner of the kayak is asked to contact the Coast Guard Sector Honolulu Command Center at 808-842-2600. (U.S. Coast Guard photo/Released)

The Coast Guard is searching for the owner or operator of an unmanned adrift black kayak found 1 mile offshore of Kahaluu Beach Park, on the Big Island, Feb. 23, 2016. Anyone with information that may help identify the owner of the kayak is asked to contact the Coast Guard Sector Honolulu Command Center at 808-842-2600. (U.S. Coast Guard photo/Released)

An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point is currently searching for a possible person in the water.

Anyone with information that may help identify the owner or operator of the kayak is asked to contact the Coast Guard Sector Honolulu Command Center at 808-842-2600.

Watchstanders at the Sector Honolulu Command Center received a report at 10:40 a.m., from a good Samaritan stating they had recovered a black kayak in the vicinity of Keauhou Bay near Kahaluu Beach Park.

Sector Honolulu issued an urgent marine information broadcast notice to mariners and launched the Dolphin crew. There are currently no reported signs of distress or missing persons in the area.

“The Coast Guard encourages ocean goers to always file a float plan and leave it with a reliable person who can be depended upon to notify the Coast Guard, or other rescue agency, should you not return or check‐in as planned,” said Lt. Nicholas Spence, a command duty officer at Sector Honolulu. “In addition, it’s important to label your watercraft with contact information so that if found adrift, we can help identify the owner and determine whether or not that person is in distress.”

The Coast Guard offers free “If Found” decals to be placed in a visible location on small, human-powered watercraft through the Operation Paddle Smart program.  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. Positive identification may also allow the item to be returned to the owner.

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

Coast Guard and Hawaii Fire Department Searching for Missing Diver Off Puako Beach

The Coast Guard and Hawaii County Fire Department are searching for a missing diver off Puako Beach, Big Island, Wednesday.

Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter

Missing is 69-year-old Diana Wolking.

Wolking was last seen wearing a black rash guard, black and white bikini bottom with a scuba tank and black fins.

An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Air Station Barbers Point is currently searching along with the crew of USCGC Kittiwake. Hawaii County Fire Department is  searching with helicopter and rescue boat crews.

An Urgent Marine Information Broadcast has been issued alerting mariners in the area to keep a sharp lookout and report any sightings to the Coast Guard Sector Honolulu Command Center.

Watchstanders at Sector Honolulu received notification at 7:20 p.m. from good Samaritans on the beach who witnessed Wolking enter the water just before sunset. After more than an hour, they noticed her truck still parked at the beach and could not locate any sign of her in the water or near the beach.

Anyone with information that may help locate Wolking is asked to contact the Coast Guard Sector Honolulu Command Center at 808-842-2600.

Weather conditions are currently reported as 70 mph winds with waves up to 3 feet and good visibility.

Decision to End Search for Marines “Extremely Difficult”

The Coast Guard will suspend the active search at sunset Tuesday for the 12 Marine aviators of Marine Corps Helicopter Squadron 463 off the North Shore of Oahu.

marine search

“A decision to suspend searching without finding survivors is extremely difficult given the depth of its impact and I know I speak for the entire Coast Guard when I say our thoughts and prayers are with Marine Corps helicopter squadron and particularly with families and loved ones of those missing,” said Capt. Jim Jenkins, chief of staff and acting commander, Coast Guard 14th District. “I want to thank all our partners, the Navy, Army, the National Guard, the Hawaii Fire, Police and Ocean Safety for their extraordinary professionalism. I am proud of my Coast Guard crews and most of all thank you to the Marines for your leadership and partnership during this case. I emphasize that as we suspend the search, we pass the baton to the Marine Corps for any follow on actions. We stand ready to support any future maritime operations, and we will continue to provide any comfort we can for those suffering from this terrible loss.”

As of sunset Tuesday, the Coast Guard and military partners will have conducted a cumulative search effort of 40,530 sq. nautical miles, plus the extensive shoreline effort by the Honolulu Fire and Police Departments with Ocean Safety Lifeguard Service. More than 130 individual searches were conducted over five days, a continuous sustained search effort of 115 hours.

Involved in the search were:

Aircraft:
Surface assets:
Shoreline:
MH-65 Dolphin helicopter & HC-130 Hercules airplane with multiple crews
Navy P-3 Orion airplane with multiple crews
Navy H-60 helicopter with multiple crews
Army H-60 helicopter with multiple crews
Honolulu Fire Department helicopter with multiple crews
Honolulu Police Department helicopter with multiple crews
USS Gridley
USS John Paul Johns
USS Paul Hamilton
USNS safeguard-class ship Military Sealift Command
Mobile Diving & Salvage Unit 1 with ROV
Coast Guard Cutter Kiska & Coast Guard Cutter Ahi
Ocean Safety jet ski teams with multiple crews
Honolulu Fire Department rescue boat
Marines comprising shoreline search teams
Incident Command Post team Honolulu
Incident Command Post team Haleiwa
Coast Guard MSST 91107 & Regional Dive Locker Pacific
Coast Guard Sector Honolulu
Hawaii Army National Guard  & Hawaii Dept. of Land and Natural Resources

Coast Guard watchstanders in Honolulu received notification of two possible downed military helicopters off the coast of Oahu’s Waimea Bay, each reportedly with six personnel aboard, late Thursday evening prompting the joint search effort. The aircraft were CH-53E Super Stallion helicopters with Marine Aircraft Group 24, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing.

The Marine Corps has the lead role for any salvage and the ongoing investigation into the cause of the incident.

Coast Guard Rescues Missing Divers Off Molokai

The Coast Guard has rescued three missing divers near Penguin Bank, Molokai, Monday.

Coast Guard Ahi

“The Coast Guard advises all divers to have a dive buoy, signaling device, and reflective equipment,” said Lt. Kevin Edes, command center chief at Sector Honolulu. “This is an outstanding case where effective planning and diligent search efforts brought three people home safe to their families”

The divers were located at 4 p.m. six miles from their original location by a Coast Guard 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew from Coast Guard Station Honolulu. They brought the divers aboard, confirmed they had no injuries and delivered them to their original vessel. The RB-M crew escorted the recreational vessel safely to Hawaii Kai.

An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew and an HC-130 Hercules airplane crew from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point were also involved in the search. The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Ahi was diverted to assist with the search. They have resumed their original search for the Marine aviators off the North Shore. The Hercules airplane has joined them.

Watchstanders at the Sector Honolulu command center received a call at 11:20 a.m., from the operator of a 20-foot cuddy cabin vessel stating he was diving with three friends in the vicinity of Penguin Bank when their vessel began to drift away. The three missing divers waited on the surface of the water while the operator recovered the vessel.

After recovering the vessel and returning to their previous location, he could not locate his companions prompting him to search for them and then call the Coast Guard.

Weather conditions were reported as northeast winds at 10 mph with seas up to 3 feet and 10 miles of visibility.

Coast Guard Searching for 3 Missing Divers Off Molokai After Vessel Goes Adrift

The Coast Guard is searching for three missing divers near Penguin Bank, Molokai, Monday.

The missing divers are a 40-year-old man, 30-year-old man and a 17-year-old boy. They were last seen at 10 a.m., wearing full body camouflage wetsuits and are reportedly excellent swimmers.

Coast Guard Sector Honolulu launched a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew from Coast Guard Station Honolulu, an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew and an HC-130 Hercules airplane crew from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point. The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Ahi was diverted to assist with the search.

Coast Guard Ahi

An Urgent Marine Information Broadcast has been issued alerting mariners in the area to keep a sharp lookout and report any sightings to the Sector Honolulu command center.

Watchstanders at the Sector Honolulu command center received a call at 11:20 a.m., from the operator of a 20-foot cuddy cabin vessel stating he was diving with three friends in the vicinity of Penguin Bank when their vessel began to drift away.

The three missing divers waited on the surface while the operator attempted to recover the vessel. After recovering the vessel and returning to their previous location, he could not locate his companions.

Weather conditions are currently reported as northeast winds at 10 mph with seas up to 3 feet and 10 miles of visibility.

Anyone with information that may help locate the divers are asked to contact the Sector Honolulu Command Center at 808-842-2600.

Life Rafts Found From Missing Marine Helicopters

Search efforts continue Monday for 12 Marine aviators off the North Shore of Oahu.

Coast Guardsmen and a Navy sailor scan the shoreline outside the Haleiwa Incident Command Post in Haleiwa, Hawaii, Jan. 18, 2016. Service members from multiple branches of the military as well as many state and local agencies in Hawaii are searching for 12 Marines who went missing after being involved in a helicopter crash off the the North Shore of Hawaii. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Levi Read/Released)

Coast Guardsmen and a Navy sailor scan the shoreline outside the Haleiwa Incident Command Post in Haleiwa, Hawaii, Jan. 18, 2016. Service members from multiple branches of the military as well as many state and local agencies in Hawaii are searching for 12 Marines who went missing after being involved in a helicopter crash off the the North Shore of Hawaii. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Levi Read/Released)

Air, surface and shoreline assets are actively searching for the survivors and cataloging debris. Of the four life rafts confirmed to be aboard the two aircraft all have been sighted and three have been recovered. Two assets are working to recover the fourth today, sighted Sunday evening north of  Kahuku by a good Samaritan. There is no indication from the sightings that any survivors have been aboard any of the life rafts.

Over Sunday night a Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules airplane crew, an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew, the Navy warship and the Coast Guard Cutter Kiska searched. On scene today are:

Aircraft: Surface:  Shoreline:
MH-65 Dolphin helicopter
Navy P-3 Orion
Honolulu Fire Department helicopter
Honolulu Police Department helicopter
(1) Navy warships
USNS Salvor, safeguard-class salvage ship,
supporting Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit 1
Coast Guard Cutters Kiska and Ahi
(2) Ocean Safety jet ski teams
(65) Marines comprising shoreline search teams
Incident Command Post team Honolulu
Incident Command Post team Haleiwa
Hawaii Army National Guard

As of 8 a.m. Monday responders have conducted 89 searches comprising 21,000 sq. nautical miles (24,150 sq. miles) of search effort. The searches are layered on top of each other to provide multiple perspectives and fresh eyes on scene.

The USNS Salvor, a safeguard-class salvage ship from the Military Sealift Command, arrived on scene late Sunday from Pearl Harbor to support the Navy Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit 1’s efforts to conduct an underwater search of the last know position of the aircraft off Haleiwa with sonar and a remotely operated vehicle. MDSU-1 conducted searches Sunday but did not sight any debris. Anything located in this search can assist search and rescue planners with their analysis of factors and conditions, allowing them to narrow down the search area and maximize the odds of locating the missing Marines.

“Today our country celebrates Martin Luther King. Jr. who once said ‘Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, what are you doing for others.’  As we enter the fourth day of around the clock operations I would submit the men and women responding to this search effort are truly answering Dr. King’s question,” said Lt. Scott Carr, Coast Guard 14th District public affairs officer.  “Our focus is to locate these Marines and know with absolute certainty we’ve thoroughly canvassed every location we might find them.”

Weather conditions Monday are reportedly 11 mph winds, with seas up to 2 feet and swells of 8 feet. A high surf warning issued by the National Weather Service remains in effect for the North Shore of Oahu.

The public is reminded to use caution along the north and west shores of Oahu as the search continues. Debris should be treated as hazardous material and reported to the Marines at 808-257-8458 or 808-257-3023.

The cause of the accident is under investigation by the Marine Corps.

For questions specific to the Marine Corps please contact the III Marine Expeditionary Force public affairs officer at 808-216-7183.

Coast Guard Continues Search for 12 – Marine Members Identified

As the search for 12 Marine aviators off the North Shore of Oahu enters its second day the Coast Guard and partner agencies have expanded the search along the North Shore from Waianae to Kahuku, extending out to sea eight miles.

As of 6 a.m. Jan. 16, 2016, graphic of combined searches conducted by surface assets (ships, boats and jet ski teams) involved in joint search efforts to locate and rescue 12 Marine aviators involved in an aircraft accident off Oahu's North Shore late night Jan. 14, 2016. Coast Guard search and rescue planners use a variety of systems to plan and coordinate searches. (U.S. Coast Guard graphic by Coast Guard Command Center Honolulu/Released)

As of 6 a.m. Jan. 16, 2016, graphic of combined searches conducted by surface assets (ships, boats and jet ski teams) involved in joint search efforts to locate and rescue 12 Marine aviators involved in an aircraft accident off Oahu’s North Shore late night Jan. 14, 2016. Coast Guard search and rescue planners use a variety of systems to plan and coordinate searches. (U.S. Coast Guard graphic by Coast Guard Command Center Honolulu/Released)

“We’d like to reiterate to the public to use caution along the north and west shores of Oahu as the search continues. Debris should be treated as hazardous material,” said Lt. Scott Carr, Coast Guard 14th District public affairs officer. “Anyone sighting debris is asked to report it to the Marines at 808-257-8458 or 808-257-3023.”

A Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew taxis for takeoff at Air Station Barbers Point, Hawaii, Jan. 16, 2016. The Dolphin crew is participating in the second day of search efforts to locate and rescue 12 Marine aviators involved in an aircraft accident off Oahu's North Shore late night Jan. 14, 2016. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Air Station Barbers Point/Released)

A Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew taxis for takeoff at Air Station Barbers Point, Hawaii, Jan. 16, 2016. The Dolphin crew is participating in the second day of search efforts to locate and rescue 12 Marine aviators involved in an aircraft accident off Oahu’s North Shore late night Jan. 14, 2016. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Air Station Barbers Point/Released)

As of 8 a.m. Saturday morning responders have conducted 22 individual searches covering more than 5,000 sq. nautical miles (5,750 sq. miles). Responders continued the search throughout the night and on scene today are:

Aircraft: Surface assets: Shoreline:
-MH-65 Dolphin helicopter
-Navy P-3 Orion
-Navy H-60 helicopter
-Army H-60 helicopter
-Honolulu Fire Department helicopter
-Honolulu Police Department helicopter
-(2) Navy warships
-Coast Guard Cutters Ahi and Kiska
-(2) Ocean Safety jet ski teams
-(7) 10-person shoreline search teams
-Incident Command Post team Honolulu
-Incident Command Post team Haleiwa
-MSST Honolulu personnel in Haleiwa
Harbor alerting mariners to safety zone
and public safety concerns

Coast Guard watchstanders in Honolulu received notification of two possible downed military helicopters each reportedly with six personnel aboard late Thursday evening prompting the joint search effort.

Weather conditions are reportedly 8 to 12 mph winds, 13 foot swells with surf up to 20-feet and scattered showers. A high surf advisory for Oahu’s North Shore remains in effect through Saturday evening. A small craft advisory has been issued by the National Weather Service and is in effect for all of the Main Hawaiian Islands through Sunday morning.

The cause of the accident is under investigation by the Marine Corps.

The missing Marines have been identified as:

  • Maj. Shawn M. Campbell, 41, College Station, Texas.
  • Capt. Brian T. Kennedy, 31, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
  • Capt. Kevin T. Roche, 30, St. Louis, Missouri.
  • Capt. Steven R. Torbert, 29, Florence, Alabama.
  • Sgt. Dillon J. Semolina, 24,Chaska, Minnesota.
  • Sgt. Adam C. Schoeller, 25, Gardners, Pennsylvania.
  • Sgt. Jeffrey A. Sempler, 22, Woodruff, South Carolina.
  • Sgt. William J. Turner, 25, Florala, Alabama.
  • Cpl. Matthew R. Drown, 23, Spring, Texas.
  • Cpl. Thomas J. Jardas, 22, Fort Myers, Florida.
  • Cpl. Christopher J. Orlando, 23, Hingham, Massachusetts.
  • Lance Cpl. Ty L. Hart, 21, Aumsville, Oregon.

Boater Access To Haleiwa Small Boat Harbor Is Limited During Emergency Rescue Efforts For Downed Helicopter Crews

Portions of the Department of Land and Natural Resources’ Haleiwa small boat harbor are being used as an emergency command center authorized by the Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation, and set up by the Honolulu Police Department during multi-agency rescue efforts today for the missing crews of two Marine Corps helicopters which collided last night off Haleiwa. Officers from DLNR’s Division of  Conservation and Resources Enforcement are assisting by checking the shoreline from  Waialua to Kaena Point for any debris.

Haleiwa Harbor

Entry roads to the harbor, one boat launch ramp and a trailer parking area are blocked as emergency vehicles and search helicopters are using the harbor premises.

High surf conditions, including 30 foot waves over the harbor breakwater, are expected to peak this afternoon and evening.  Although boaters may still use one launch ramp closest to Haleiwa Joe’s, they are advised to check marine advisory warnings calling for very high surf. Forecasters are predicting a large and dangerous swell that could bring waves as high as 40 feet to the north-facing shores today.

The Coast Guard is urging people to stay out of North Shore waters, citing a debris field from the collision of the helicopters that stretches for miles.

The adjacent Haleiwa Alii Beach Park will be closed to the public on Friday as crews use the beach as a recovery area in an ongoing military rescue operation, according to the Department of Parks and Recreation.

Big Island Police Searching for 17-Year-Old Girl Missing Since December

Hawaiʻi Island police are searching for a 17-year-old Mountain View girl who was reported missing.

Zaxsalyn Guerpo, also known as “Missy,” was last seen in Kona on December 2. She is described as 5-foot-3, 135 pounds with black shoulder-length hair and brown eyes.

Zaxsalyn Guerpo

Zaxsalyn Guerpo

Police ask anyone with information on her whereabouts to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the islandwide Crime Stoppers number at 961-8300. Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Presentation – Understanding the Dynamics of Human Trafficking in Hawaii

The Zonta Club of Hilo is hosting a presentation by Kathy Xian, Executive Director of the Pacific Alliance to Stop Slavery, on understanding the dynamics of human trafficking in Hawaii on Tuesday, December 1st, 2015 at the Hilo Women’s Club located at 7 Lele Street from 5:30 – 7:30.

The free, public presentation is part of the Zonta Says NO 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence—an international campaign that aims to inspire action and end violence against women and girls around the world.

16 Days of Activism kicked off on Nov. 25 (International Day to Eliminate Violence Against Women) and ends on Dec. 10 (Human Rights Day).

  • WHO: Kathryn Xian, Executive Director of The Pacific Alliance to Stop Slavery (PASS)
  • WHAT: “Understanding the Dynamics of Human Trafficking in Hawaii” Presentation

kathy xian

NOTE: Presentation is free and open to the public. Zonta Club of Hilo president, Tonya Ozone, and Zonta Says NO Hilo campaign chair, Ashley Kierkiewicz, will be present and available for remarks.

In addition, Zonta Hilo has teamed up with local businesses to host shoe displays geared towards increasing awareness of gender-based violence. Each display includes a pair of shoes, “Who will be next?” poster, domestic violence survivor quote and resource cards. To date, 12 businesses have agreed to host a display for the duration of the 16 Days of Activism. A limited number of displays are left; interested individuals should contact Ashley Kierkiewicz at (808) 989-4004 or by emailing alk@hastingsandpleadwell.com.

Coast Guard Suspends Search for Missing Kona Woman

The Coast Guard suspended the search late Wednesday for missing 33-year-old Amber Savant of Kona presumed swept out to sea while free diving near Kapoho Bay, Big Island.

Amber Savant

Amber Savant

The Coast Guard will assist Hawaii County Fire Department efforts Thursday.

“To suspend an active search and rescue case without definitive resolution is one of the most difficult decisions to make,” said Cmdr. Arex Avanni, deputy commanding officer at Coast Guard Sector Honolulu. “We saturated the area in an attempt to locate Ms. Savant, but pending further developments, we have decided to suspend the active search. Our prayers go out to her loved ones.”

On-scene assets searched approximately 4,516 square miles and deployed three self-locating datum marker buoys.

Involved in the search were an HC-130 Hercules airplane crew and MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point, the crews of USCGC Kittiwake and USCGC Galveston Island. Hawaii County Fire Department jet ski and helicopter crews searched as well as a Navy MH-60 helicopter crew from the 37th Helicopter Squadron out of Marine Corps Base Hawaii in Kaneohe.

On-scene crews recovered a spear-gun, fins, gloves, snorkel, mask, weight belt with knife and five pounds of dive weights from Kapoho Bay during the search effort. All were identified as belonging to Savant.

Watchstanders at the Sector received a report at 2:52 p.m., Sunday, alerting them to the situation. They immediately launched the Dolphin helicopter crew and issued an urgent marine information broadcast requesting the assistance of any mariners in the area.

Big Island Police Searching for Wisconsin Woman Reported Missing

UPDATE: Hawaiʻi Island police have located 24-year-old Julia Sollazo of Wisconsin, who was reported missing.

She was found in Hilo unharmed and in good health at 11:50 a.m. Monday (September 21).

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Coast Guard Seeking Help Locating Big Island Resident

The Coast Guard is seeking the public’s help in locating Gregory Voight, mid 40s and resident of the island of Hawai’i.

Pahoehoe Beach

Watchstanders at the Coast Guard Sector Honolulu Command Center received a report Tuesday from a good Samaritan, stating she witnessed a man depart his vehicle with a large bag, a brown wooden kayak with metal oars and enter the ocean at Pahoehoe Beach just south of Kailua-Kona Sunday about 6:45 p.m.

The Coast Guard contacted the Hawaii Police Department and determined the vehicle is registered to Gregory Voight. The police have checked Voight’s residence but have not located him on land and his car is still parked at Pahoehoe Beach.

The Coast Guard has no reports of missing persons or distress in the area but is asking for assistance from the public to locate Voight and verify his safety.

Anyone with information on Voight’s whereabouts or anyone who has seen a brown wooden kayak is requested to contact the Coast Guard Sector Honolulu Command Center at (808) 842-2600.

The Coast Guard encourages boaters and waterway users to always file a float plan and leave it with a reliable person who can be depended upon to notify the Coast Guard, or other rescue agency, should you not return or check‐in as planned.

The Coast Guard reminds boaters to exercise caution over the next few days as Tropical Storm Hilda passes south of the Main Hawaiian Islands and creating a tremulous sea state with 8 to fifteen foot seas and East winds gusting between twenty and thirty knots.

 

Missing 59-Year-Old Pahoa Man Has Medical Condition

Hawaiʻi Island police are searching for a 59-year-old Pāhoa man who was reported missing.

Terry Ward

Terry Ward

Terry Ward was last seen at 6 p.m. Saturday (July 11) at Mahukona Beach Park in North Kohala. He has a medical condition that requires medication.

He is described as 5-foot-2, 85 pounds with brown eyes, long black hair and a gray goatee. He walks with a cane and has a tattoo of a totem pole on one of his arms. He was last seen wearing blue jeans, brown moccasins, no shirt and was carrying a blue backpack containing a red-white-and-blue jacket with the words “Army National Guard” on the back.

Police ask anyone with information on his whereabouts to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the islandwide Crime Stoppers number at 961-8300. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Missing Free Diver Found Unresponsive

The Coast Guard located the 57-year-old missing male free diver near Punalu’u, Hawai’i, Thursday.

US Coast Guard HH65 Dauphine

US Coast Guard HH65 Dauphine

At 4:35 p.m., an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point located the man floating approximately 600 yards offshore of Punalu’u.

At jet ski crew from the Hawaii County Fire Department was vectored in and found the man unresponsive.

The man was taken back to shore where local emergency medical services personnel were waiting.

For more information, contact Coast Guard Public Affairs at (808) 341-9849.