US Coast Guard, Navy Searching for Missing Navy Sailor
The US Coast Guard, Navy, Ocean Safety and Honolulu Fire Department are searching for a Navy sailor near Kaena Point, Oahu, Wednesday.
Coast Guard Sector Honolulu was notified that a Hawaii-based sailor was reported missing after he became separated from other members of his command during an open ocean swim training evolution off Kaena Point Tuesday afternoon.
An MH-65 dolphin helicopter crew out of Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point and a response boat-medium crew from Coast Guard Station Honolulu were diverted from a training exercise at 6:30 p.m. to begin searching the area. A Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules airplane crew began assisting with the search at 1 a.m. Wednesday. The Honolulu Fire Department Air One helicopter and a fire department land company searched the sea and shoreline until nightfall. Coast Guard rescue crews continued to search the sea and shoreline throughout the night.
Search crews from Wednesday included the contracted Navy tug Sea Commando, the Coast Guard Cutters Walnut and Kittiwake, a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium from Coast Guard Station Honolulu, and Coast Guard aircraft. Ocean Safety crews aboard a jet ski and several assets from the Honolulu Fire Department, including the Air One helicopter, a 24-foot rescue boat and a shoreline crew are also taking part in the search.
Sector Honolulu watchstanders are utilizing the Search and Rescue Optimal Planning System, a computer program which calculates environmental factors such as weather; wind, current speed and direction to determine a search area with the highest probability for locating a missing person in the water. In addition to SAROPS, Coast Guard crews have deployed three Self-Locating Datum Marker buoys to better assist rescue crews in coordinating their search patterns. The SAROPS program is presently in agreement with the physical datum marker buoys on the optimal search area.
Naval Today Staff, February 21, 2013; Image: USCG