The Honolulu Fire Department (HFD) received a 911 call at 5:49 p.m. for a boater in distress near the Honolulu Harbor. Four HFD resource units, staffed with 16 personnel, responded to the ocean rescue call from their respective areas. Because of their proximity, the State Aircraft Rescue Fire Fighting (ARFF) Rescue Boat 3, located at the boathouse on Lagoon Drive, was also dispatched to assist. The first HFD fire fighters arrived at the shoreline scene at the Keehi Boat Ramp at 6:00 p.m. Air 1 made visual contact from overhead at the ocean scene at 6:11 p.m. to size up the situation. The geolocation from the 911 call plotted the distressed boat at about one mile offshore near the entrance to the Honolulu Harbor channel. The 911 caller, onboard with two others, reported that his 29-foot sailboat lost engine power after being out on the sea for three hours. He anchored offshore to prevent drifting inland and was concerned about one of the persons on board being dehydrated due to excessive vomiting. The State ARFF Rescue Boat 3 and personnel made contact with the patient first on the disabled sailboat and transferred her and another person to the State ARFF Rescue Boat 3. They then proceeded to transport the two persons to shore safely where patient care was transferred to an awaiting EMS unit at the Keehi Boat Ramp. While the patient was being transported to shore, the HFD Rescue 1 boat attached tow lines to the disabled sailboat, removed it from its anchor, and was under tow at 6:40 p.m. The disabled sailboat was towed and secured safely to the single-point moorings near the Keehi Boat Ramp at 7:00 p.m. All HFD & ARFF personnel were accounted for with no reports of injuries.
The HFD urges all to be safe while boating and provides the following safety tips:
Boating Safety Tips
• Check the boat’s engine and equipment before leaving.
• Always keep an anchor, extra fuel, warm clothing, and flares onboard.
• Bring two working forms of communication. Keep cellphones in a waterproof container.