Skip to main content

VIDEO: Crew overboard in total darkness

Two men and a 9-year-old boy were rescued Wednesday after their 38-foot sailboat sank in a storm 280 miles northeast of Hilo, Hawaii.

Mitchell and Bradley James, and Bradley's son, Wesley, were voyaging from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, to Hilo when they contacted the Coast Guard cutter Kiska Tuesday afternoon to report they were disabled, according to the Coast Guard. Their sailboat, Liahona, had a damaged forestay and an overheated engine. After trying to rig a makeshift sail, they lost the mast.

Click play for a news report on the rescue.

Coast Guard Rescue Coordination Center Honolulu contacted the 893-foot container ship Horizon Reliance, which was 149 miles from Liahona, and asked the captain to divert to assist the crew. Horizon Reliance participates in the Automated Mutual Assistance Vessel Rescue System, or AMVER, a global ship reporting system used by search-and-rescue authorities to arrange for assistance to those in distress.

At approximately 2 a.m. Wednesday morning, Horizon Reliance reached Liahona, but as the ship approached it struck the sailboat, according to the Coast Guard. Winds were gusting to 40 knots, and swells were in the 20-foot range. Liahona capsized, throwing all three crewmembers into the Pacific, and sank.

The Coast Guard says the sailors were wearing life jackets with strobe lights, which enabled rescuers to keep them in sight. They are reported to be in good condition and are en route to Honolulu aboard the Horizon Reliance.

Click here for the full report.