The Coast Guard rescued three people and a dog from a life raft off Oahu’s North Shore Sunday.
An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Air Station Barbers Point arrived on scene 41 miles northeast of Oahu’s North Shore and hoisted the three people and their dog safely into the helicopter before returning to Air Station Barbers Point.
At 12:44 p.m. watchstanders at the Coast Guard Sector Honolulu Command Center received a call from the master of the 70-foot catamaran Brandi Anne reporting they were rapidly taking on water. The watchstanders immediately dispatched responders including the Dolphin crew and a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew from Station Honolulu.
“In other rescues we’ve done in the past, a lot of them weren’t prepared for the event,” said U.S. Coast Guard pilot Lt. Ron Green. “They don’t use precautions around big surf, no life jackets, marine band radios. Because of that, this rescue was much easier.”
During further communications, the master reported they were abandoning the vessel into an orange life raft. All three people are reportedly wearing life jackets.
“We had the life raft, that’s what they’re made for you know,” said rescued boater Gerald Mccoullough. “Me and the dog, Mister Hotes, in one, Jon and tom in the other. We tied them together and hang tight and wait for the coast guard that’s it.”
Weather on scene was reportedly seas up to 4 feet with winds of 18 mph, gusting to 23 mph and clear skies.
“In this kind of situation the best thing is not panic, take a minute, help keep you alive longer,” Lt. Green said.
The catamaran is partially submerged and may present a hazard to navigation. Mariners in the area are advised to keep a sharp lookout to avoid collision.
“We heard the helicopter coming and it was a great sound,” Mccoullough said. “The Coast Guard does a great job and that’s the best thing we got going for us for sure.”