Rescue launched for boat caught in Hurricane Julio

This Sunday, Aug. 10, 2014 photo provided by the U.S. Coast Guard shows the 42-foot sailboat Walkabout caught in Hurricane Julio, about 400 miles northeast of Oahu, Hawaii. Walkabout is disabled and taking on water with three people aboard. The Coast Guard is coordinating the rescue of the boat. (AP Photo/U.S. Coast Guard)
This Sunday, Aug. 10, 2014 photo provided by the U.S. Coast Guard shows the 42-foot sailboat Walkabout caught in Hurricane Julio, about 400 miles northeast of Oahu, Hawaii. Walkabout is disabled and taking on water with three people aboard. The Coast Guard is coordinating the rescue of the boat. (AP Photo/U.S. Coast Guard)

HONOLULU (AP) — A rescue effort was launched Sunday to reach three people aboard a sailboat that got caught in Hurricane Julio about 400 miles (640 kilometers) northeast of the Hawaii island of Oahu.

The sailors aboard the 42-foot (12-meter) sailboat Walkabout sent a message around 7 a.m. Sunday requesting help after the boat became disabled and took on water in rough seas, the U.S. Coast Guard said in a statement.

One of the hatches blew away, and onboard pumps were unable to keep up with the flooding. The vessel’s life raft was also blown overboard.

The sailors’ message was sent to the International Emergency Response Coordination Center in Texas, which contacted the Coast Guard in Honolulu.

An aircraft sent to establish contact with the sailors detected Mayday calls from the boat.

Another aircraft that reached the sailboat dropped a life raft and pump into the water, but the sailors couldn’t retrieve the equipment because of 30-foot (9-meter) swells and powerful winds, Coast Guard spokeswoman Petty Officer Melissa McKenzie said.

Another aircraft was sent to attempt another drop, she said. A 661-foot (200-meter) container ship diverted from its route to the location of the sailboat was still on its way late Sunday.

 

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