3 on Sailboat Await Rescue Near Hawaii

Sailboat set adrift by Hurricane Julio
By Shelley Hazen,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 11, 2014 11:29 AM CDT
3 on Sailboat Await Rescue Near Hawaii
This photo provided by the U.S. Coast Guard shows the 42-foot sailboat Walkabout caught in Hurricane Julio, about 400 miles northeast of Oahu, Hawaii.   (AP Photo/U.S. Coast Guard)

Three people stranded aboard a sailboat set adrift 400 miles northeast of Oahu by Hurricane Julio are awaiting rescue. A container ship reached the sailboat early this morning, but crews were waiting for conditions to improve to evacuate the trio, reports the AP. "The seas were really bad and it's kind of windy, so they didn't want to do it in the dark," says a Coast Guard official. The 42-foot sailboat, called the Walkabout, took on water in high seas and was disabled, the Star Advertiser reports. It was initially up against winds between 92 mph and 115 mph.

Following a distress call, a plane found the sailboat in a tough spot—a hatch cover and its lifeboat were blown away. Then rough seas prevented the sailboat crew from retrieving a life raft and pump dropped down to them. If all goes well, however, the container ship will lower a life raft, and the crew will float over to the rescue ship. "If seas were calm, they'd pull up to the sailing vessel and (the three sailors) would climb up what's called a Jacob's ladder," says the Coast Guard official. "But it's really rough out there, so if (the container ship) did that, they'd end up running over that sailing vessel." (More hurricane stories.)

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