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Emergency beacon proves a lifesaver for boaters off Big Isle

The Coast Guard rescued three men after their 48-foot boat sunk off of Hapuna Beach on the Big Island.

Shortly before 1:50 p.m. Wednesday, the Coast Guard received an alert from an emergency positioning indicating radio beacon (EPIRB). Soon after, a watchstander received a call from the Hawaii County Fire Department of a vessel with three people aboard that sank off of the Big Island, according to a news release.

The men, all from the Big Island, were aboard a 48-foot boat “Bobo Link” when it sank in waters about two-and-a-half miles off of Hapuna Beach.

The Coast Guard’s cutter Kiska, who was on patrol in the area, rescued the men from their life raft and transported them to Kawaihae Harbor.

In the release, Chief Petty Officer 1st Class Tyler Peterson, watchstander of the Coast Guard Sector Honolulu command center, said the EPIRB saved the men’s lives. “While the men also were able to contact emergency services personnel via cell phone, we strongly recommend boaters carry a working VHF radio in the event that cell service is unavailable.”

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