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Rescue 21 system credited with saving fisherman

A Hawaiian fisherman is safe after his 48-foot boat capsized Sunday and sank approximately 15 miles south of Oahu.

The mariner was able to transmit a mayday call on VHF channel 16 that was received by Coast Guard search-and-rescue coordinators at Coast Guard Sector Honolulu. He was also able to activate an EPIRB that transmitted his position. Additionally, the location of the VHF transmission was calculated using the newly installed Rescue 21 system, which triangulates the position of any VHF broadcast originating near the Hawaiin Islands.

Crews aboard a 45-foot response boat-medium from Coast Guard Station Honolulu, and an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point were launched to assist. The response boat arrived and safely rescued the fisherman. He was transferred to awaiting EMS at Honolulu Harbor for further treatment.

The fishing vessel Robin 2008 capsized and reportedly sank. At this time, there are no signs of pollution.

The mayday call was the first received using the Coast Guard’s new Rescue 21 technology in the Hawaiian Islands. By harnessing global positioning and cutting-edge communications technology, Rescue 21 enables the Coast Guard to perform all missions with greater agility and efficiency.

In related news, the Coast Guard accepted its Rescue 21 advanced command, control and communications system for Sector San Juan, including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, in a ceremony Tuesday at Coast Guard Base San Juan.

“With the delivery of Rescue 21, we now have a modern sustainable system that allows Coast Guard Watchstanders in Sector San Juan to not just hear those calling for help, but to determine their location, leading to a swift, coordinated response, including the ability to manage and respond to multiple distress calls,” said Capt. Drew W. Pearson, Sector San Juan commander.