Maui News

Overboard Mariners Rescued After Being Ejected from 14-Foot Boat off O‘ahu

June 2, 2021, 12:01 PM HST
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File Image courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard District 14 Hawaiʻi Pacific.

The US Coast Guard rescued four mariners off Portlock, Oʻahu after they had fallen overboard from their vessel Sunday.

A Good Samaritan reported the incident at around 1:16 p.m., stating that a 14-foot vessel was moving in circles and people were in the water near the unmanned boat.  One of the mariners sustained minor injuries from the vessel’s propeller. 

The mariners claimed they were ejected from their boat when a large wake impacted the vessel. 

“On April 1, a new law requiring engine cut-off switches went into effect,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Chad Chao, an operations specialist for Sector Honolulu. “It’s always better to have more safety measures in place and this is a great way to maintain control of your vessel in the unpredictable ocean.”

The new law applies to any motorized boat with three or more horsepower and is less than 26-feet in length. It requires the operator of the boat with the installed ECOS to use the ECOS link, typically a bungee cord lanyard clipped to the operator.  When the operator is underway, the engine will cut off if the operator is separated, which can happen if the operator falls or is ejected from the vessel. 

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The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Kimball was nearby conducting Memorial Day weekend safety operations and diverted to the scene, recovering the four mariners and gaining control of their wayward vessel.  All mariners were brought safely back to awaiting medical personnel.

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