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5 sailors rescued after Navy boat capsizes off Kaneohe

Five sailors were rescued today after a wave flipped a Navy boat in windy conditions in Kaneohe Bay.

A spokesman for the Naval Special Warfare Command said two rigid inflatable boats were passing through the channel, heading for Marine Corps Base Hawaii in Kaneohe as part of routine training, when one of the boats was “broadsided by a wave” and capsized. The second boat was somehow disabled and later towed to a nearby pier.

Honolulu lifeguards and firefighters rescued the five people who came from the overturned boat. One sustained minor injuries, but he was still able to walk, the spokesman said.

The Navy was sending assets to retrieve the overturned boat.

After receiving a call from the Navy about 1:20 p.m., the Coast Guard sent a C-130 Hercules aircraft for oversight and called Honolulu lifeguards for assistance, said Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Amanda Wyrick.

Shayne Enright, spokeswoman for the Honolulu Emergency Services Department, said lifeguards launched a rescue craft from Heeia Kea Pier and located the group in the water with the help of the Coast Guard in the air. Emergency Medical Services took one of the boaters, a 38-year-old man, to an emergency room in serious condition with back pain, she said. The other four boaters — three men and one woman — did not need treatment.

Enright said conditions at the time were windy with choppy surf.

The Navy spokesman did not disclose where the sailors are based, but said they are part of the Naval Special Warfare Command, which centers around the Navy SEALs. In Hawaii, SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team One at Pearl Harbor uses submersibles that can insert SEALs for special operations missions.

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