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Ship rescues 3 stranded in rough seas off Hawaii

Sailboat Caught In Rare Hurricane Near Hawaii


HONOLULU (AP) - A container ship crew on Monday rescued three people who were stranded in a sailboat off the Hawaiian islands for about 24 hours as Hurricane Julio battered their vessel with giant waves and high winds that ripped off one of its hatches.

The sailors made it on to the container ship at about 8 a.m., Coast Guard Chief Warrant Officer Gene Maestas said. They were in good condition, he said.

The three people got into trouble while sailing the 42-foot Walkabout from California to Hawaii, Maestas said. The Coast Guard said it received their message for help Sunday morning after the boat became disabled and took on water.

The sailboat was stranded in 30-foot seas and winds of 92 to 115 mph, according to the agency. One of its hatches blew away, and onboard pumps couldn't keep up with the flooding. Gusts also carried the vessel's life raft overboard.

The Matson Inc. container ship was on its way to deliver goods to Honolulu and was the closest vessel that could help. It reached the Walkabout around 10 p.m. Sunday.

"It was so far away we could not send a helicopter that could make the journey," Petty Officer Melissa McKenzie said about why the Coast Guard had to coordinate the rescue with the container ship.

But the giant vessel needed better conditions before it could save the stranded sailors.

Operations Specialist Andrew Lincoln said crews had to wait until dawn to start the evacuation because performing the rescue before first light, in the midst of rough weather, was too dangerous.

"The seas were really bad, and it's kind of windy so they didn't want to do it in the dark," he said.

Conditions eventually calmed, and crew members positioned the container ship so it wouldn't knock over the sailboat. They then tied a rope around a life raft and sent it to the sailboat, McKenzie said.

The sailors got in the raft, and the container ship "reeled them in, essentially," McKenzie said. The sailors then climbed a ladder up to the ship. No other information was immediately available about the sailors, their voyage or caused their vessel to take on water.

Julio had passed through the area but left behind gusting winds and sea swells.

The Manukai embarked on its journey to Honolulu before Tropical Storm Iselle and Hurricane Julio became threats, Matson spokesman Jeff Hull said. It was diverted a bit because of Julio.

The ship and the sailors will continue on to Honolulu, Hull said. They are expected to arrive early Tuesday. The ship is equipped with medical equipment if the sailors need it.

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Helen Hope Mayo August 11 2014 at 12:26 PM

the forecast was well in advance of the actual arrival. Why the hell were they out there ?

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1 reply
Marven Gardens Helen Hope Mayo August 12 2014 at 3:12 AM

Exactly. They should have been left out there. I can't stand irresponsible idiots like these who expect others to risk their lives while trying to rescue the idiots.

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pjchilds August 11 2014 at 12:21 PM

A Jacob's ladder is a rope ladder used to allow people to board large boats from small boats.

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grudgrime August 11 2014 at 1:50 PM

Did they not get the weather report that the rest of the world got?

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2 replies
reginatorw grudgrime August 11 2014 at 4:18 PM

The first sentence of the article states, ".....a sailboat stranded in waters roiled by Hurricane Julio about 400 miles off the Hawaii coast....."

Do the math and it best not be GOP math or you'll get even more confused than you currently appear to be.

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Marven Gardens grudgrime August 12 2014 at 3:18 AM

Pay no attention to the condescending smart-a$$ about "doing the math." One need only "do the math" and plainly see that these idiots had a whole week's notice before leaving Calif., that Iselle and Julio were tropical storms that were predicted to become hurricanes. Oh, and, one need only "do the math" to figure out that you just don't venture out in small ocean craft into warmer-than-usual ocean temperatures in an El Nino year in this region of the world.

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gin711 August 11 2014 at 1:48 PM

why are they "clamoring?" do they know the meaning of the word?

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1 reply
Robin gin711 August 11 2014 at 3:49 PM

I figure whoever wrote it was going for "scrambling". Where do they FIND these people?

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ctslair August 11 2014 at 1:26 PM

Who's clueless enough to go sailing in the middle of two hurricanes? Don't tell me Hawaii is trying to edge out Florida for having the stupidest people...

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4 replies
toneitup August 11 2014 at 12:32 PM

Opps Weather

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1 reply
meatra toneitup August 11 2014 at 1:39 PM

is this ricky perry?

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toneitup August 11 2014 at 12:32 PM

What they didn't know about the storm from the wether reports?

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1 reply
gramargo toneitup August 12 2014 at 2:22 AM

The storms hadn't even started to develop when they set sail, and didn't develop into hurricanes until they were well along the trip to Hawaii. It's been many years since any such storm has taken a similar course, as they usually turn northish well before they're very far out.

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rcalley1 August 11 2014 at 11:15 PM

These people need to pay for the rescue since for more than a week they new this storm was coming their way. Stupid people, should have just let them stay a drift!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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goodgrief61945 August 11 2014 at 6:44 PM

Moral of the story. Make sure you tie your lifeboat to your yacht.

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ostiques August 11 2014 at 4:57 PM

no such thing as hurricanes in the Pacific, in the pacific they are called typhoons

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1 reply
jacqueduvall ostiques August 11 2014 at 5:21 PM

Not true it depends where it started which in these cases in the Central Basin, East Pacific Ocean, where the call them Hurricanes.

In the Atlantic and East Pacific, the term “hurricane” is used. The same type of disturbance in the Northwest Pacific is called a “typhoon” and “cyclones” occur in the South Pacific and Indian Ocean.

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1 reply
gramargo jacqueduvall August 12 2014 at 2:25 AM

Obviously someone has never done much reading about storms in various parts of the world, but you'd think ostiques would have seen the weather reports which referred to these two biggies as hurricanes.

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