May Day Distress Call Prompts Coast Guard to Rescue Five From Capsized Vessel Off Sand Island

The Coast Guard rescued five mariners from a capsized vessel approximately one mile from Kalihi Channel, Oahu, Sunday.

At 3:39 p.m., watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Honolulu received a mayday call over VHF channel 16 from the owner of a 21-foot recreational vessel that overturned off Sand Island.


A 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew from Station Honolulu arrived on scene at 3:52 p.m., rescued the five people and transferred them to Ke’ehi Lagoon.

Coast Guard 45-foot Response Boat

Coast Guard 45-foot Response Boat

“This case had a happy ending because they had a working VHF radio on board their vessel,” said Lt. Patton Epperson, command duty officer at Sector Honolulu. “As soon as this vessel used their radio to call mayday, followed by their position and a description of the boat, we were able to send a rescue boat directly to their location.”

The Coast Guard advises all mariners to carry appropriate safety equipment to include a VHF radio, lifejackets and flares. Maritime accidents can occur quickly and without warning and mariners should take appropriate steps to be prepared. For more information on boating safety, mariners can visit

A commercial salvage company removed the vessel from the water.

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


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