Updated at 3:10 p.m., Friday, December 8, 2006
Man in dinghy rescued after currents sweep him away
Advertiser StaffA 50-year-old man who was swept out to sea and spent the night in an 8-foot inflatable dinghy was rescued at 8 a.m. yesterday morning near Lanai, a U.S. Coast Guard official said.
The Maui Fire Department had reported the man missing seven hours earlier.
He was picked up near Lanai by the passing fishing vessel Dorado at the request of the Maui Fire Department, the Coast Guard said.
The man, a fisherman, is a resident of the Big Island and was part of a catamaran crew that had been traveling the islands. He was taking the dinghy out to the catamaran which was anchored off Ka'anapili Beach on Maui when the dinghy got caught in the currents.
The search party included the Coast Guard's C-130 aircraft, an HH-65 Dolphin helicopter and a 47-foot motor life boat. The search was suspended because of darkness after a few hours, but resumed at first light.
Coast Guard officials said that although winds were blowing 30 to 35 knots, the seas were calm while the dinghy was adrift.