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Vessel tows disabled sailboat to Hilo

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An amateur radio operator, the Coast Guard and a good Samaritan vessel helped a mariner Friday who was stuck on a disabled sailboat 287 miles northeast of Hilo with no food and almost no water.

The radio operator alerted the Coast Guard this morning by email that a mariner needed assistance aboard the disabled, Australian-flagged sailing vessel Q-Wave, the Coast Guard said.

The boat had lost its dingy, sustained a tear in its main sail, and had a broken motor with unreliable communications equipment. The mariner had less than one liter of water and no food, the Coast Guard said.

A Coast Guard crew aboard an HC-130 Hercules aircraft from Barbers Point dropped off emergency supplies, food, water, and a VHF radio to the sailboat.

The vessel Fifth Wife overheard communications with the disabled vessel and responded to tow it to Hilo.

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