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Missing yachtsman turns up safe on Hawaii island

He tells the Coast Guard he was blown off course

By Michael Tsai

LAST UPDATED: 10:31 a.m. HST, Jan 02, 2012

Two days after the Coast Guard suspended its search for a boater who went missing during a voyage from Kauai to Oahu, the boater — 66-year-old Ira Foreman of Seattle, Wash. — arrived at Honokohau Harbor on Hawaii island — two weeks late and nearly 100 miles off course but alive.

Foreman left Port Allen, Kauai, on the morning of Dec. 17 but failed to arrive at Keehi Lagoon as scheduled the next day. He was reported missing a week later.

Search and rescue officials at Coast Guard Sector Honolulu received word Saturday from Foreman’s ex-wife that Foreman had contacted her via cell phone, telling her that he had been blown off course by strong winds but was never in any distress.

Officials were able to triangulate Foreman’s location based on his call and an aircrew from an HC-130 Hercules plane from Barberts Point Air Station was able to spot a vessel matching the description of Foreman’s 36-foot sailboard shortly after midnight. The crew, however, was not able to establish communication with the vessel.

The Coast Guard made contact with Foreman on his mobile phone around 8 a.m. Sunday and Foreman reported his location as 20 miles west of Kealekekua. He arrived at Honokohau Harbor around 3 p.m.

“We are eager to meet with Mr. Foreman to find some answers about this very challenging case,” said Capt. Joanna Nunan, commander of Sector Honolulu, in a Coast Guard news release.

The Coast Guard suspended a massive four-day search for Foreman on Thursday after covering some 209,000 square miles. Involved in the search were a MH-65 Dolphin helicopter, a HC-130 Hercules airplane, and two Navy P-3 Orion planes. 

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Honolulu01 wrote:
Something funny going on for two weeks?
on January 2,2012 | 04:20AM
waikiicapt wrote:
Time for this guy to park his boat on the Big Isle and sell it; never again should he put to sea. USCG have been putting out alerts about him missing on the VHF radio channel 16 and he could and/or should have been answering them. He didn't have the brains to know enough to sail upwind against the trades and current during a time period the NWS was broadcasting small craft warnings and gales PRIOR to his departure from Port Allen. This is the kind of person who is too stupid to understand why he should not be owning or living on or using a sailboat. The men and women of the USCG do not need to jeopardize themselves to look for this kind of clown.
on January 2,2012 | 11:45AM
manakuke wrote:
Unexpected solution to a massive search!
on January 2,2012 | 05:16AM
808comp wrote:
I think there is more to this story.
on January 2,2012 | 05:32AM
keys4me wrote:
that search cost us many tens of thousands of dollars. If he was on the boat, why didnt he answer his VHF radio as the USCG broadcast the alert for him for days?????
on January 2,2012 | 06:28AM
mrluke wrote:
The $ amount is one thing. Don't forget the the rescuers put themselves at risk on these searches.
on January 2,2012 | 07:57AM
mrluke wrote:
"very challenging case", INDEED! One week to report him missing, hmmmm...
on January 2,2012 | 07:38AM
allie wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on January 2,2012 | 07:45AM
mrluke wrote:
Not at taxpayer expense.
on January 2,2012 | 07:56AM
makapio wrote:
Give him the bill for the cost of the seach effort
on January 2,2012 | 08:46AM
Aquarius1 wrote:
First he misses Oahu on his way up from the South Pacific, and ends up on Kauai. Then, he misses Oahu again and ends up on Hawaii Island. He's supposed to be an experienced mariner. But why didn't me make it known that he was not missing or in danger when the USCG was looking for him. Isn't that a bit selfish and irresponsible? Thank God for the people who were looking for him. Thank goodness he is okay. But, still.....
on January 2,2012 | 08:51AM
Big C wrote:
Foreman should be charged for the search/rescue effort. If he was new he was lost/off course, he should have radioed in to let USCG know that he is alright and did not need assistance. I hope he had a valid reason for not making such a call, unless he is just that "dumb".
on January 2,2012 | 09:17AM
WesleySMori wrote:
Maybe He Had "COGNITIVE DISSONANCE"????? Don't KNOW What Cognitive Dissonance is?? ASK HOWARD DICUS!! "GOD BLESS HAWAII & AMERICA"!!!!!
on January 2,2012 | 09:41AM
OB1NONO_ME wrote:
Send HIM the bill for search and rescue efforts.
on January 2,2012 | 09:42AM
cojef wrote:
Enough said on the cost of the massive search, if he had to pay it, his wife would not have reported the fact he was off-course. Everytime the search planes takes to the air there are always risks involved. We should not take incidents like these lightly.Agree that something is missing??? He either is poor sailor or something, as 2 times off course and timing is off too. Maybe rendezvousing with someone or some other vessel out at sea. For what purpose, a mystery.
on January 2,2012 | 09:54AM
alohacharlie wrote:
He had a cell phone to call his ex-wife but did not call the Coast Guard. Send him a bill for all of the costs of the search and if he does not have the money to pay it, put a lean on his boat.
on January 2,2012 | 12:31PM
Vivgie wrote:
Maybe he didn't know the CG was looking for him. They don't have floating wireless towers in the Pacific Ocean so he must have called as soon as he saw land to conserve electricity. I'd like to know if he had enough food and water. Nobdoy really carried enough supplies and provisions for a month hiking trip that should have been only one day. A lot of questions need to be answered. Funny how so many are so mad now that he finally arrived with that "What happened?" look on his face.
on January 2,2012 | 01:15PM
GeoDiva wrote:
This guy is an idiot and needs to have his boat impounded before someone dies trying to "rescue" him!
on January 2,2012 | 12:57PM
Meleana22 wrote:
Will he be billed for the enormous cost of this search?
on January 2,2012 | 03:10PM
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