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Coast Guard Urges Public in Hawaii to Prepare for Heavy Weather Ahead of Darby

The Coast Guard is urging the public to prepare for the onset of heavy weather expected to impact the Hawaiian Islands, Friday.

boaters manual

Tropical Storm Darby is expected to generate sustained winds of 60 mph, storm surge and surf up to 20 feet along east-facing shores throughout the Main Hawaiian Islands.

Mariners and beachgoers should monitor the progress and strength of the storm through newspapers, the internet and local television, radio stations and official accounts on social media. Boaters can monitor the progress of the storm on VHF channel 16. Small craft advisories and warnings are also broadcast on VHF channel 16.

The Coast Guard is working closely with local and state first responder agencies. Once the storm begins to impact the islands, emergency responders may not be able to assist those in danger. The public is urged to heed all evacuation orders. Mariners should seek safe harbor and shelter.

Additionally, mariners should secure their boats and boating equipment. Owners of large boats are urged to move their vessels to protected marinas where they will be less likely to break free of their moorings or to be otherwise damaged. Smaller boats should be pulled from the water and stored in a place that is not prone to flooding and is protected for high winds. Regardless of location, all loose items aboard vessels should be secured or removed.

Visitors to Hawaii should heed all warnings from lifeguards and public health and safety officials. Although weather conditions may appear favorable, rip tides and high surf may impact beaches far in advance of the actual storm. Even the best swimmers can fall victim to strong storm-generated waves and currents. Swimmers are urged to stay clear of beaches until local officials say the water is safe. Near-shore waters may become contaminated due to runoff up to several days following a storm.

A PDF version of the Hawai’i Boater’s Hurricane and Tsunami Safety Manual can be found at the following link: http://seagrant.noaa.gov/SeaGrantSearch/TabId/526/ArtMID/3568/ArticleID/354/Hawai%e2%80%98i-Boater%e2%80%99s-Hurricane-and-Tsunami-Safety-Manual.aspx.

For more information on hurricane preparedness, visit the National Hurricane Center’s Web page at http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/.

10 Boaters Rescued in Two Separate Cases Off Oahu

The Coast Guard, Ocean Safety and Lifeguard Services and Honolulu Fire Department personnel rescued 10 boaters in two separate cases off Kahala, Oahu, Sunday.

In both cases responders were able to locate all survivors, bring them aboard response craft and get them to safety.

The Coast Guard rescued seven people from an overturned canoe approximately two miles south of Kahala, Oahu, May 8, 2016. A 45-foot Response Boat-Medium boat crew from Coast Guard Station Honolulu safely recovered all seven people onto the RB-M and transported them to the Ala Wai Boat Harbor. (U.S. Coast Guard photo/Released)

The Coast Guard rescued seven people from an overturned canoe approximately two miles south of Kahala, Oahu, May 8, 2016. A 45-foot Response Boat-Medium boat crew from Coast Guard Station Honolulu safely recovered all seven people onto the RB-M and transported them to the Ala Wai Boat Harbor. (U.S. Coast Guard photo/Released)

At 10:04 a.m. the Coast Guard overheard Ocean Safety personnel responding to a report of a 15-foot vessel taking on water with three people aboard a mile and a half south of Kahala. Ocean Safety located all three boaters, took them aboard their jet skis and brought them to shore.

A 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew from Coast Guard Station Honolulu was on site to provide assistance. Crews were unable to successfully dewater the capsized vessel and it remains partially submerged, unlighted and adrift. A broadcast notice to mariners has been issued alerting those in the area of the potential hazard to navigation.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources has been notified. The owner of the vessel is expected to attempt salvage. The small vessel reportedly has an outboard with a 15-gallon gasoline tank.

At 10:36 a.m. HFD requested assistance from the Coast Guard to respond to a report of an overturned canoe with seven people aboard off Kahala, a mere 100-yards from the first response location. The Coast Guard crew safely recovered all seven people onto the RB-M and transported them safely to the Ala Wai Boat Harbor.

The Coast Guard rescued seven people from an overturned canoe approximately two miles south of Kahala, Oahu, May 8, 2016. A 45-foot Response Boat-Medium boat crew from Coast Guard Station Honolulu safely recovered all seven people onto the RB-M and transported them to the Ala Wai Boat Harbor. (U.S. Coast Guard photo/Released)

The Coast Guard rescued seven people from an overturned canoe approximately two miles south of Kahala, Oahu, May 8, 2016. A 45-foot Response Boat-Medium boat crew from Coast Guard Station Honolulu safely recovered all seven people onto the RB-M and transported them to the Ala Wai Boat Harbor. (U.S. Coast Guard photo/Released)

Crewmembers from the Honolulu Fire Department righted the canoe and towed it toward Ala Wai Boat Harbor, before being relived of the tow by a good Samaritan who brought the vessel safely into the harbor.

No injuries or pollution were reported from either case.

“We’ve had an incredibly busy day for search and rescue cases throughout the Hawaiian Islands,” said Petty Officer 1st Class AJ Labarr, a duty watchstander from Coast Guard Sector Honolulu. “Our partnership with local emergency responders like Ocean Safety and Lifeguard Services and the Honolulu Fire Department allow all of us to work together seamlessly in these type of situations and save lives.”

Early Sunday, the Coast Guard responded to a report of three boaters in distress off Kauai. A Coast Guard Station Kauai RB-M crew safely recovered them and brought them to Port Allen. One man was mildly hypothermic.

Hawaii Coast Guard Rescues Sailor – No Food or Water in 3 Days

Hawaii Fire Department (HFD) Incident Report Number: 8285

Coast Guard Inflatable

Type of Incident: Vessel in Distress

Situation Found at Scene: 30 foot sailing vessel with no motorized power, but initially able to make its way in the direction of Hilo on wind power.  Contact made with Coast Guard via marine radio.

Cause: Undetermined

Remarks: After approximately 2 hours, person on board stated that his said became disabled and is not able to steer boat. Coast Guard initiated a response by their cutter with an estimate time of arrival of approximately 10 hours. The person on board relayed information to Coast Guard that he had not eaten or drank anything for 3 days. Coast Guard then made a request for HFD to provide assistance. HFD rescue initiated and towed the distressed vessel in to Hilo Bay. Person on board did not need any medical attention and was in good spirits.

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.

Coast Guard Seeking Public’s Help Locating Owner of Adrift Kayak

The Coast Guard is seeking the public’s help in identifying the owner of an adrift kayak located approximately 12 miles southwest of La’au Point, Molokai, Sunday.

Submerged Kayak

Watchstanders at the Coast Guard Sector Honolulu Command Center received notification from a Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew of an adrift, partially submerged 12-foot blue kayak.

There are no missing persons or distress reports in the area.

An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point, a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew from Station Maui and an Auxiliary aircraft searched approximately 170 square miles for three hours.

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.

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, through the Coast Guard Auxiliary, from Honolulu Sail and Power Squadron offices and at select marine retail and supply stores.

Coast Guard Reopens All Hawaii Ports – Continue to Monitor Julio

The Coast Guard has reopened all ports in the State of Hawaii following the passing of Tropical Storm Iselle through the Hawaiian Islands.

Commercial traffic and port operations may be resumed and these ports are now in Condition V.

All Coast Guard vessels and aircraft will return to their normal safety, security and law enforcement patrols.

Hurricane Julio

Hurricane Julio

The Coast Guard will continue to monitor Hurricane Julio and heavy weather conditions for each port will be updated as information becomes available.

Although the storm has passed the public is advised to use extreme caution around the water as the lingering effects of the storms may last for several days, generating high surf, rip currents and poor water conditions. The public should heed all warnings from local lifeguards or posted placards regarding public health and safety.

  • Condition V: Seasonally readiness, 1 June – 30 November
  • Condition IV: The ALERT condition in which winds above 34 knots (39 mph) are expected within 72 hours.
  • Condition III: The READINESS condition in which winds above 34 knots (39 mph) are expected within 48 hours.
  • Condition II: The WARNING condition in which winds above 34 knots (39 mph) are expected within 24 hours.
  • Condition I: The DANGER condition in which winds above 34 knots (39 mph) are expected within 12 hours and until the storm has passed and is no longer a threat.

Coast Guard and Fire Department Rescue Snorkelers Near Molokini Crater – One Unresponsive

The Coast Guard and the Maui County Fire Department rescued four snorkelers near Molokini Crater off Maui, Sunday.

Molokini Crater

Molokini Crater

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Honolulu received notification from the operator of the vessel, Double Scoop, that one of their snorkelers was unresponsive and three others were stranded in the rocks in the surf zone near Molokini Crater.

A 45-foot Response Boat-Medium boat crew from Coast Guard Station Maui and a jet ski from Maui County Fire Department were launched to the scene.

The rescue crews arrived on scene, safely recovered the unresponsive and three stranded snorkelers and transferred them onto the RB-M.

Rescue personnel administered CPR to the unresponsive snorkeler.

The snorkelers were transported to the Maalaea Boat Ramp where local emergency medical personnel were waiting to take them to the hospital.

Kayakers Rescued by Honolulu Fire Department and Coast Guard

The Coast Guard and Honolulu Fire Department rescued a group of kayakers offshore of Honolulu, Saturday.

Honolulu Fire Department received a call from one of a group of six kayakers at approximately 8 a.m. stating that some of their kayaks had overturned and  four people were in the water. HFD deployed a rescue helicopter, rescue boat, fire boat and engine and contacted the Coast Guard Sector Honolulu Command Center.

Sector Honolulu responded by issuing an urgent marine information broadcast to request the assistance of mariners in the area and launching a 45-foot Response-Boat Medium from Coast Guard Station Honolulu.

Upon arriving on scene the Coast Guard response boat crew rescued four people from the water and took one person aboard from a kayak. They were then able to recover three kayaks, and escort the sixth member of the group as he paddled to Kaimana Beach. The five people aboard the response boat  and their kayaks were taken to Ala Wai Boat Harbor with no reported injuries. Everyone was wearing a lifejacket.

Maritime accidents can occur quickly and without warning, even under the best weather conditions. Lifejackets, hand held marine VHF radios and signaling devices can greatly increase the chance of survival should the unexpected occur. Visitors to the Hawaiian Islands as well as residents should ensure they have appropriate safety equipment, weather information and experience before heading out on the water.

For more information on lifejackets visit www.uscgboating.org.

Sea conditions at the time were one to two foot swells, calm winds and clear skies. For more information contact the 14th Coast Guard District public affairs office at (808) 535-3230.

Sailor Goes Missing Near Kaena Point During Open Ocean Swim Training

The Coast Guard, Navy, Ocean Safety and Honolulu Fire Department are searching for a Navy sailor near Kaena Point, Oahu, Wednesday.

The Pathfinder for Maritime Search & Rescue

The Pathfinder for Maritime Search & Rescue. (Self-Locating Datum Marker Buoy)

Coast Guard Sector Honolulu was notified that a Hawaii-based sailor was reported missing after he became separated from other members of his command during an open ocean swim training evolution off Kaena Point Tuesday afternoon.

An MH-65 dolphin helicopter crew out of Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point and a response boat-medium crew from Coast Guard Station Honolulu were diverted from a training exercise at 6:30 p.m. to begin searching the area. A Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules airplane crew began assisting with the search at 1 a.m. Wednesday. The Honolulu Fire Department Air One helicopter and a fire department land company searched the sea and shoreline until nightfall. Coast Guard rescue crews continued to search the sea and shoreline throughout the night.

Search crews Wednesday include the contracted Navy tug Sea Commando, the Coast Guard Cutters Walnut and Kittiwake, a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium from Coast Guard Station Honolulu, and Coast Guard aircraft. Ocean Safety crews aboard a jet ski and several assets from the Honolulu Fire Department, including the Air One helicopter, a 24-foot rescue boat and a shoreline crew are searching.

Sector Honolulu watchstanders are utilizing the Search and Rescue Optimal Planning System, a computer program which calculates environmental factors such as weather; wind, current speed and direction to determine a search area with the highest probability for locating a missing person in the water. In addition to SAROPS, Coast Guard crews have deployed three Self-Locating Datum Marker buoys to better assist rescue crews in coordinating their search patterns. The SAROPS program is presently in agreement with the physical datum marker buoys on the optimal search area.

For more information regarding the search, contact the Coast Guard’s 14th District public affairs office at 808-535-3230.

For information regarding the missing Navy sailor, contact Agnes Tauyan, Navy Region Hawaii director of public affairs at 808-473-2875 or 808-554-4813.

Coast Guard Crews to Enforce Kailua Bay Security Zone During President Obama Stay

Coast Guard law enforcement officers will enforce a temporary security zone in Kailua Bay beginning as early as Dec. 21, 2012. The temporary security zone is necessary to ensure the safety of the President of the United States and his official party.

Kailua Zone

The security zone will be in effect from 6 a.m. December 21, 2012 to 10 p.m. January 6, 2013, unless canceled earlier by the Captain of the Port Honolulu, Capt. Joanna Nunan.

The Coast Guard is coordinating with the Honolulu Police Department, Marine Corps Base Hawaii and other Federal, state, and county law enforcement agencies on patrols of the area under the direction of the U.S. Secret Service.

The maritime security zone includes a portion of Kailua Bay, beginning at Kapoho Point and extending westward to the shoreline near Kailuana Loop. The zone also includes the adjacent canal beginning near Kapoho Point to a point extending the canal way to approximately 150 yards south of the North Kalaheo Avenue road bridge.

A marker will be placed on Kailua Beach, a yellow buoy will be placed on the water and an orange boom will placed in the canal for visual references of the zone.

Under the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations (33 CFR 165.33), the temporary law prohibits any unauthorized person or vessel from entering or remaining in this security zone. Any person entering the zone without the permission of the Coast Guard Captain of the Port is subject to a penalty of not more than $40,000 for each violation or a criminal penalty resulting in imprisonment of not more than 10 years.

For more information about the security zone, contact the Sector Honolulu command center at 808-842-2600.

Coast Guard, NOAA, DLNR Prepare for Return of Humpback Whales to Hawaiian Waters

Crews from the Coast Guard, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the State of Hawaii’s Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement, from the Department of Land and Natural Resources are partnering together to protect humpback whales as they make their annual migration to Hawaiian waters.

Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Christopher Hyde watches as a whale swims underneath a Coast Guard Station Honolulu 47-foot Motor Life Boat in waters west of Molokai, Hawaii, U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Angela

Humpback whale season is generally from November to May with the peak season occurring during the months of January and March. According to the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale Marine National Sanctuary, whales come to the Hawaiian Islands to mate, calve, and nurse their young. They return to Alaska in the summer months because Hawaii’s waters are relatively nutrient-free and too warm to support enough of the humpback’s food to sustain them year-round. The whales must migrate back to colder water to feed and rebuild their blubber supply.

“It is certainly beneficial to have the Coast Guard, NOAA and DOCARE working together with the same goal of protecting these marine mammals,” said Eric Roberts, the 14th Coast Guard District’s marine mammal response manager. “By combining our resources, we are better prepared to protect this endangered species in a way that helps keep both the animals and Hawaii’s mariners safe.”

The 14th Coast Guard District is home to four marine national monuments and two national marine sanctuaries, more than any other region in the United States. Since the 2009-2010 humpback whale season, the Coast Guard has been conducting Operation Kohola Guardian, a program created to formalize the Coast Guard’s protection of the endangered humpback whale.

Operation Kohola Guardian involves coordinated joint Coast Guard, NOAA and DOCARE patrols of the sanctuary during the peak months of January through March. The Coast Guard aims to protect both the safety of mariners as well as the endangered humpback whales while in the sanctuary by direct communication with boaters.

“We are so fortunate to have the humpbacks visit Hawaii each year,” said Elia Herman, sanctuary co-manager with the DLNR.  “But with that comes added responsibility – and we all need to continue to work together to ensure the laws are followed and both whales and people are protected.”

There are several whale collisions near the Hawaiian Islands every year. Boaters can take proactive measures to ensure their safety as well as the safety of the whales. Keeping a boat’s speed down when whales are known to be in the area is one step mariners can take. Mariners should also maintain a sharp lookout at all times.

Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Ryan Lundy and Seaman Darren Park, both from Coast Guard Station Honolulu, watch as National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration members remove line caught on a yearling whale in waters west of Molokai, Hawaii.

Weighing an average of 45 tons, a humpback whale collision with a mariner can be catastrophic. While on routine patrol, Coast Guard boats and air crews scan the area for signs of whales. If whales are sighted crews alert nearby mariners to ensure they remain away. It is illegal to approach within 100 yards of a whale. Aircraft are also prohibited from flying within 1,000 feet of a whale.

“Protecting humpback whales in Hawaii requires the work of multiple agencies. The Coast Guard, NOAA and the state of Hawaii’s DOCARE all play important roles, that when combined, result in better protection for whales in the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary,” said Sanctuary Superintendent Malia Chow, from NOAA. “It is truly a multi-agency effort.”

Coast Guard crews conduct sanctuary patrols to ensure boaters and marine life stay safe.

“One of our core missions is the protection of marine mammals, so it’s crucial that we work closely with our federal, state and local partners to ensure that the maritime community is respecting our maritime laws,” said Roberts. “By partnering with NOAA and DOCARE, we’ve been able to increase our presence throughout the Sanctuary.”

The Coast Guard’s efforts to protect humpback whales are not limited to surface patrols. Coast Guardsmen act as first responders to entanglements and other marine mammal distress calls, and they are often the reporting source to NOAA and DOCARE. While on routine patrols, Coast Guard rescue helicopter crews from Air Station Barbers Point sometimes spot distressed marine mammals.

“Coast Guardsmen attend regular training focusing on large whale entanglement response and we are permitted to act on behalf of NOAA in certain circumstances,” Roberts said. “This provides our members with the technical knowledge to assess the extent of the entanglements and attached satellite tracking gear as needed. Additionally, our boat operators receive extensive training on safe approach techniques to limit the risks to both the animals and our response personnel.”

The Coast Guard assists with an average of 12 to 15 whale entanglements each season and transports numerous marine mammals that are in danger to safer locations.

Mariners and citizens are asked to report injured or entangled marine mammals to the Coast Guard on VHF marine band channel 16, or at 808-842-2600, or by contacting the NOAA fisheries hotline at 800-853-1964.

Individuals are invited to continue the conversation at www.Facebook.com/USCGHawaiiPacific.

For more information visit the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Web site at http://hawaiihumpbackwhale.noaa.gov/.