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Press Release | Oct. 3, 2023

Coast Guard, Molokai Fire Department rescue mariners from sinking vessel off Molokai

HONOLULU – The Coast Guard and the Molokai Fire Department rescued five mariners aboard the grounded vessel Mega off of ‘Ilio Point, Molokai, Tuesday.

The Mega began taking on water after running aground before a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew from Coast Guard Station Honolulu successfully rescued and transported the mariners back to Oahu with no reported injuries.

"Our crews undergo rigorous training year round, preparing for situations like the one we encountered early this morning,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Aaron Heigis, a boat coxswain from Coast Guard Station Honolulu. "The success of this rescue operation vividly demonstrates the dedication and commitment exhibited by our crewmembers.”

At 3:57 a.m., Tuesday, Coast Guard Sector Honolulu watchstanders received notification from the 50-foot motor vessel crew that they were rapidly taking on water, stating they had run aground and were drifting northwest of Molokai Island.

Upon notification, watchstanders launched a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew from Station Honolulu, along with a HC-130 Hercules aircrew and a MH-65 Dolphin Helicopter aircrew from Air Station Barbers Point. Additionally, assistance was requested from the Molokai Fire Department.

The Coast Guard Station Honolulu boat crew arrived on scene and attempted to dewater the pleasure craft while Molokai Fire Department boat and ground crews stood by, however, efforts to dewater could not reduce the amount of flooding. The five mariners were transferred to the Coast Guard vessel and transported back to Oahu.

The vessel is currently afloat and a hazard to navigation maritime safety broadcast has been issued to notify mariners in the area.

There is no visible sheening at this time and the Coast Guard will continue to monitor the vessel.

Involved in the rescue: 

  • Coast Guard Sector Honolulu Command Center personnel
  • Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point MH-65 Dolphin Helicopter aircrew
  • Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point HC-130 Hercules aircrew
  • Coast Guard Station Honolulu 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew
  • Molokai Fire Department rescue boat and ground crews