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Missing yachtsman turns up safe on Hawaii island

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  • Courtesy photo
    This undated photo shows Ira Foreman

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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