Three People Rescued After Sailboat Was Caught in Hurricane Julio

By Mark Leberfinger, AccuWeather.com Staff Writer
August 12, 2014; 8:30 AM ET
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An airplane on a mission for the National Hurricane Center was diverted Sunday to assist the U.S. Coast Guard to rescue three people on a sailboat caught in Hurricane Julio, northeast of the Hawaiian Islands.

Stranded at sea for nearly 24 hours, all three people were rescued and appeared to be in good condition Monday, local time, after being taken aboard a container ship, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported.

The sailboat's crew is expected to arrive in Honolulu early Tuesday, the Star-Advertiser reported.

Walkabout, a 42-foot sailboat, sent out a distress message about 7:15 a.m. HST Sunday. The Coast Guard was alerted by the Joint Rescue Coordination Center in Honolulu, which received notification from the International Emergency Response Coordination Center in Texas.

The call came about 414 miles northeast of Oahu.

The U.S. Coast Guard is coordinating the rescue of the 42-foot sailboat Walkabout caught in Hurricane Julio, 414 miles northeast of Oahu, Aug. 10, 2014. Walkabout was disabled and taking on water with three people aboard. (Photo/Courtesy of the U.S. Coast Guard)

"Julio is moving away from that region," AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Edward Vallee said. "At the time of the incident, Julio was to the southeast of the vessel, moving in its [the sailboat's] general direction. Wind gusts were 40 to 50 knots (46 to 57 mph) around the vessel at the time. Conditions probably got worse during the day."

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Teal 76, a WC-130J Hercules attached to the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron, was diverted from inside Hurricane Julio to locate the vessel and establish radio communications, the Coast Guard said.

When Teal 76 arrived in the area, it reported mayday calls being broadcast from Walkabout.

On-scene conditions were reported as 92 to 115 mph winds with 30-foot seas. One of the hatches has blown away and onboard bilge pumps are unable to keep up with the flooding. The vessel's life raft has also been blown overboard, the Coast Guard said.

The Coast Guard said an HC-130 Hercules airplane crew was launched from Air Station Barbers Point to deliver a life raft and relieve Teal 76, and the 661-foot container ship Manukai diverted to the location of the sailboat.

After a two-hour transit, the Hercules crew arrived on scene and dropped dewatering equipment and life rafts to the Walkabout. The Walkabout was unable to retrieve the equipment due to rough on-scene conditions.

The Hercules returned to Oahu due to low fuel, and a second Hercules airplane crew arrived on scene at 7 p.m. HST.

Hurricane Julio is shown northeast of Oahu on Sunday, Aug. 10, 2014. (Photo/NOAA)

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