Fate of distressed boat uncertain


The Hawaii County Fire Department was sent Sunday evening to the waters a half-mile off the Kona Coast after receiving a report that a 50-foot sailboat was taking on water, said West Hawaii Battalion Chief Ty Medeiros.

Responding to the 7:45 p.m. call, rescuers found nobody aboard the vessel. They learned from the U.S. Coast Guard that a good Samaritan had already offloaded the passengers and taken them safely to shore. Because of the boat’s size, the Fire Department could not tow the boat in, Medeiros said. He added, the boat was still drifting when fire rescuers left and the Coast Guard was monitoring the situation.

The status and whereabouts of the boat were unknown as of press time. Medeiros said the Fire Department had not received any updates regarding the vessel’s circumstances or any reports about a boat running aground or sinking. He also added it’s possible the boat’s owner or friends managed to bring the boat back in. He deferred further inquiries to the Coast Guard.

Coast Guard Petty Officer Anthony Soto said the Coast Guard did not respond to the scene, but monitored the incident. No further information was available Monday. The names of the vessel and its owner were not listed in the Fire Department’s incident report.