Two Australian sailors successfully rescued near Honolulu

Wednesday 18 August 2021
Two Australians have been rescued from a 13-metre sailing vessel in the North Pacific Ocean following a successful joint operation between the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) and the Joint Rescue Coordination Center (JRCC) Honolulu.
Supplied by the US Coast Guard - Challenger Jet

On Saturday, August 14, AMSA’s Joint Rescue Coordination Centre received a distress call about 1600 hours (AEST) via satellite phone from the crew of the LINDA ELLEN after the vessel was hit by a severe weather squall and was in danger of sinking.

The vessel sustained hull damage and activated its emergency beacon at 1621 hours AEST, showing its remote location to be around 2500km south-west of Honolulu.

As the vessel was located within the United States Search and Rescue region, JRCC Honolulu deployed a US Coastguard aircraft to conduct an aerial search and diverted a Korean fishing vessel, Blue Ocean, to assist.  The aircraft located the vessel and established radio communication around 2245 hours (AEST).

At around 0130 hours (AEST), JRCC Honolulu advised that the two people had been rescued by the Blue Ocean and were safely on board.  Australian authorities are now making arrangements for the repatriation of the two people.

AMSA Response Centre Manager Kevin McEvoy said: "This was an outstanding joint rescue effort coordinated by JRCC Honolulu with a positive outcome.

“JRCC Australia sincerely thanks JRCC Honolulu for their prompt, successful coordination of this incident and asks that our gratitude is passed on to all involved parties, especially the crew of the Blue Ocean and the United States Coastguard aircraft.

“This rescue highlights the benefit of people being properly prepared at sea, and in particular having an emergency beacon which enables a quick response to help save lives.”

Mr McEvoy said AMSA is committed to working collaboratively with all search and rescue partners and volunteers in Australian and international waters.