UPDATE 1757 EST 11 August: All three crewmembers from the sailing vessel Walkabout are safely aboard the containership MV Manukai and enroute to Honolulu after spending 24 hours battling the effects of Hurricane Julio aboard a disabled sailboat 414 miles northeast of Oahu Monday, the Coast Guard said.
Rescued are 61-year-old Ben Nealy, 22-year-old Lee Nealy, and 22-year-old Mike Vanway.
The 42-foot sailboat was enroute from Stockton, California, to Honolulu, when it was dismasted and began taking on water with the three crew aboard.
The 661-foot Matson container ship Manukai rerouted to the scene and safely embarked the three men at 7:52 a.m. Monday, with winds reported to be 20 mph with 13-foot seas.
The Walkabout remained adrift as of Monday, the Coast Guard said.
UPDATE 1412 EST 11 August:
According to the Coast Guard, Manukai arrived on scene last night at approximately 2200 local time and attempted to drag a 6-person liferaft over to the Walkabout, however they were unsuccessful and further attempts risked a collision between the container ship and the sailboat. At first light attempts to rescue the crew have resumed.
The crew of the Walkabout have been successful at manually de-watering the boat and the risk of sinking appears to have been mitigated at this point as weather conditions have improved since last night, however the sailboat is dead-in-the-water and does not have a mast anymore, thus they still intend to evacuate.
The U.S. Coast guard reported Sunday a 42 foot sailboat has been caught in the midst of Hurricane Julio and is taking on water 414 miles NE of Oahu.
At 7:15 a.m. local time on Sunday, watchstanders at the Joint Rescue Coordination Center (JRCC) in Honolulu received notification from the International Emergency Response Coordination Center in Texas of a distress call from the sailboat Walkbout with three souls on board.
Conditions at the time of the call were 92 to 115 mph winds with 30-foot seas. One of the hatches has blown away and onboard bilge pumps are unable to keep up with the flooding, according to the report received by the Coast Guard. The vessel’s life raft has also been blown overboard.
JRCC diverted an airplane from the National Hurricane Center, Teal 76, from inside Hurricane Julio to locate the vessel and establish VHF radio communications.
At 10:49 a.m., Teal 76 reported Mayday calls being broadcast from Walkabout.
An HC-130 Hercules airplane crew launched from Air Station Barbers Point at 11:10 a.m. to relieve Teal 76 and deliver a life raft and de-watering equipment to the Walkabout, however the boat was unable to retrieve the equipment due to rough conditions and the aircraft was forced back to Oahu, the Coast Guard said.
The 661-foot container ship Manukai, owned by Matson, has diverted and is enroute to the location of the sailboat.
A second Hercules airplane crew was enroute as of Sunday evening and will remain on scene until the container ship Manukai arrives.
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