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Press Release | Aug. 11, 2023

Coast Guard, partners expand response efforts for Maui Fires

HONOLULU — The Coast Guard,along with federal, state, and local partners continue to respond following the Lahaina wildfires in Maui.  

To date, the Coast Guard searched over 15 hours covering more than 450 square nautical miles.

Involved in the search effort were:  

·       U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point MH-65 Dolphin Helicopters  

·       U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Kimball 

·       U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Juniper 

·       U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Gerczak 

·       U.S. Coast Guard Station Maui 

U.S. Coast Guard Maritime Safety and Security Team Honolulu 

·       U.S. Navy Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 37  

·       Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources 

·       National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 

·       Eight Good Samaritan vessels 

The Coast Guard has saved 17 lives, with 40 additional survivors located and assisted ashore by U.S. Coast Guard Station Maui.  The Coast Guard does not have any confirmed missing persons in the water and aircrews and surface assets searched the area continuously since initial reports of a maritime emergency were received Tuesday evening.

“From the initial report of potential persons in the water, we have pursued an aggressive search of the shoreline and surrounding area,”  said Capt. Aja L. Kirksey, Sector Commander of Coast Guard Sector Honolulu. “This has been an extremely difficult time for the community and our crews, and we are giving our best effort to ensure that if there is someone in the water awaiting our assistance, we will find them.”

The Coast Guard intends to transition to other missions later this evening, unless additional information warrants continuing searches. As a multi-mission agency, the Coast Guard will continue to lead teams and surface assets engaged in ensuring maritime safety in the surrounding area, assessing and restoring the waterway, and coordinating the pollution removal from the sensitive marine habitats in affected areas.

“We offer our condolences to the community of Lahaina and all those impacted by this tragedy,” said Capt. Kirksey. “In coordination with our partners, we remain committed to the safety of the public and our responders and we remain postured and ready to respond to any new reports.”

Anyone with additional information about known missing persons in the water are urged to contact Coast Guard Sector Honolulu Command Center at 808-842-2600. For all other questions or concerns please contact the Maui Emergency Operations Center at (808) 205-9328.