Matson Containership Diverted to Assist Hurricane Beset Sailboat

By George Backwell
Sunday, August 10, 2014
Matson Containership: Image courtesy of Matson Line

The US Coast Guard informs it is coordinating the rescue of a 42-foot sailboat stricken by Hurricane Julio 414 miles northeast of Oahu Sunday, and has diverted the 661-foot Matson Line container ship 'Manukai' to the location of the dismasted boat.

The sailing vessel Walkabout is disabled and taking on water with three people aboard. On-scene conditions are reported as 92 to 115 mph winds with 30-foot seas. One of the hatches has blown away and onboard bilge pumps are unable to keep up with the flooding. The vessel’s life raft has also been blown overboard.

Watchstanders at the Joint Rescue Coordination Center Honolulu received notification from the International Emergency Response Coordination Center in Texas that an alert message was received from Walkabout requesting Coast Guard assistance.

In response JRCC diverted an airplane from the National Hurricane Center, Teal 76, from inside Hurricane Julio to locate the vessel and establish VHF radio communications which reported Mayday calls being broadcast from Walkabout.

An HC-130 Hercules airplane crew launched from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point was subsequently sent to deliver a life raft and relieve aircraft Teal 76.

The containership Manukai is en route to the location.

 

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