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Fisherman, adrift and out of gas, rescued by Coast Guard

  • COURTESY U.S. COAST GUARDThis map shows the initial search area in green and a wider area of interest in red drawn up as part of a search plan for a missing fisherman off Kailua-Kona Wednesday night.
    COURTESY U.S. COAST GUARD
    This map shows the initial search area in green and a wider area of interest in red drawn up as part of a search plan for a missing fisherman off Kailua-Kona Wednesday night.

The Coast Guard rescued a fisherman who spent the night adrift and out of gas off the coast of Kailua-Kona.

The fisherman was last seen Wednesday afternoon on his 17-foot fishing boat about 40 miles west of of Kailua-Kona near a NOAA data buoy.

He was reported missing at 6:11 p.m. after he failed to return home.

A HC-130 Hercules plane from Air Station Barbers Point began a search at about 10:20 p.m. and the Coast Guard Cutter Kittiwake, an 87-foot patrol boat, left its homeport in Honolulu to join the search.

The Hercules crew dropped marker buoys to calculate the probable drift of the fishing boat and the Coast Guard developed a search plan.

The Coast Guard plane spotted the vessel at 1:20 a.m. about nine miles west of Kailua-Kona and saw a man waving his arms to attract their attention.

The plane circled the boat until Kittiwake arrived at 4 a.m. to take the vessel in tow.

A Hawaii County Fire Department rescue boat met up with the cutter and continued towing the man and his boat to Keahou Marina.

The fisherman was wearing a lifejacket, but was not equipped with a working VHF radio, flares and an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon.

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