News Release by U.S. Coast Guard
HONOLULU – Three missing mariners were located by a Coast Guard helicopter in no distress south of Molokai, Tuesday.
The missing mariners filed a float plan before departing Oahu which allowed the Coast Guard to quickly locate the vessel and confirm they were in no distress.
Watchstanders at Sector Honolulu received a call from a family friend at approximately 4:30 a.m. reporting that the Felix, a white catamaran, with three people aboard, was overdue to arrive in Mala, Maui at 2 a.m. Tuesday. The mariners included a father and his two sons.
Coast Guard aircrews launched an HC-130 Hercules aircraft and an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter to search for the overdue mariners aboard the 45-foot vessel.
At approximately 9:10 a.m., the Dolphin aircrew was able to make contact with the mariners and verify that everyone aboard was safe and there were no injuries. The vessel had diverted course and sailed along the south side of Molokai. Once it was verified that everyone aboard was safe, the mariners continued their course toward Maui.
The missing mariners filed a float plan with family friends which alerted them to a potential problem and provided key information for search crews. The Coast Guard highly recommends mariners file float plans with responsible friends, family, or the nearest harbormaster. A float plan should include the projected course, time of departure, arrival and return. If a vessel fails to return at the specified time the Coast Guard can be alerted to begin a search.
More information on float plans can be found at the following link: http://www.floatplancentral.org/
For more information contact the 14th Coast Guard District public affairs office at 808-535-3230.