The Coast Guard rescued eight people after their vessel sank in Hawaii’s Kaiwi Channel on Sunday.
Watchstanders at Joint Rescue Coordination Center Honolulu received an unregistered signal for possible persons in distress approximately 12 miles west of Molokai.
The JRCC launched an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point to search the area.
The father confirmed that the 21-foot recreational vessel his son was on had an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon that was activated after the vessel had sunk. They were able to tie three kayaks together and cling to it after the vessel sank.
All eight people were wearing their lifejackets. No injuries were reported.
“This case had the potential to quickly degrade but the immediate response from men and women of the Coast Guard ensured the swift recovery of all four children and four adults,” said Lt. Patrick Frain, a command duty officer at Coast Guard Sector Honolulu.
"We knew it was going to go down, so we just started getting anything that we really needed like life jackets and I put my fins on and we all jumped in the water and the boat went over," Jeff Kozlovich told CBS Honolulu affiliate KGMB-TV.
The group left Sandy Beach Park around 1:30 p.m. They brought along three kayaks and the plan was to kayak back to Oahu on Monday.
They were 12 miles west of Molokai when their 21-foot vessel got hit by rough waters.
"It got scary rough real fast, where waves were breaking over the bow, and it happened really quick," Kozlovich recalled. "Before we knew it, too much water was in the boat and we really couldn't steer well or maneuver."