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Coast Guard rescues man in life raft south of Diamond Head

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 6:33 a.m. HST, Aug 14, 2014

The Coast Guard rescued a man floating in a life raft 7 miles south of Diamond Head on Tuesday evening after his boat sank.

The man's 41-foot sailing vessel, Esperanza, went down in 300 feet of water after striking something hard, took on water and rapidly sank, the Coast Guard said.

A woman called the Coast Guard, telling officials her friend had gone sailing, sent a text message to her at 9:05 p.m., saying he needed help, gave his position and asked her to "send the Coast Guard."

The Coast Guard diverted a 45-foot response boat and its crew members found the mariner holding his activated, blinking Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon and GPS tracker.

The Coast Guard did not provide any information on the man's age or residency.

The Coast Guard got its first signal from the EPIRB at 9:26 p.m. and received the precise location at 9:50 p.m.

The man only had enough to time to send a brief distress call on the radio, text his friend, deploy his life raft and activate the EPIRB.

"The man seemed to be very well prepared with the proper lifesaving equipment," said Petty Officer 1st Class Tyler Peterson. "If it wasn't for his EPIRB and text message being sent, we would have been searching in the wrong area."

The Coast Guard recommends boaters have multiple communications mechanisms such as VHF radios, EPIRBs and flares. Lifejackets are also recommended.

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