The U.S. Coast Guard is coordinating the rescue of a 42-foot sailboat caught in Hurricane Julio some 414 miles northeast of Oahu.
Sailing vessel “Walkabout” on Sunday was 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 rate of flooding. The vessel’s life raft has also been blown overboard.
At 7:15 a.m. Sunday, watchstanders at the Joint Rescue Coordination Center in Honolulu received notification from the International Emergency Response Coordination Center in Texas that an alert message was received from “Walkabout” requesting Coast Guard assistance.
JRCC diverted an airplane from the National Hurricane Center, Teal 76, from inside Hurricane Julio to locate the vessel and establish VHF radio communications.
At 10:49 a.m. Sunday, Teal 76 reported Mayday calls being broadcast from Walkabout. An HC-130 Hercules airplane crew launched from Air Station Barbers Point at 11:10 a.m. to deliver a life raft and relieve Teal 76.
After a two-hour transit, the Hercules crew arrived on scene and dropped dewatering equipment and life rafts to the “Walkabout.” The “Walkabout” was unable to retrieve the equipment due to rough on-scene conditions.
The Hercules crew returned to Oahu due to fuel limitations.
A second Hercules airplane crew departed from Air Station Barbers Point at 5:15 p.m. Sunday enroute to the vessel’s location and arrived on scene at 7 p.m. Sunday.
The Hercules crew will remain on scene until 661-foot Matson container ship Manukai arrives to the Walkabout’s location.
JRCC is receiving hourly position updates of the Walkabout from a Delorme device aboard the boat.