At around 2AM local time Wednesday, the container ship Horizon Reliance rescued three Canadians, two men and a 9 year old boy, from the 33 foot disabled sailboat, Liahona, about 411 nautical miles east of Honolulu, Hawaii. The winds were gusting over 40 knots and swells were running up to 20 feet.
The crew of the Liahona had contacted the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Kiska on Tuesday at around 5:30 PM after their mast’s forestay was damaged. The Coast Guard asked the nearest ship, the Horizon Reliance, which was about 240 kilometers northeast of the Liahona, to divert from its course to assist the sailboat. The ship reached the drifting sailboat early Wednesday morning. During the rescue, the sailboat was knocked against the side of the 896 foot long container ship and sank. Brad James, 39, his nine-year-old son Wes James and Mitchell James, 29, were pulled from the sea by the crew of the container ship and reported to be in good health.
William A. Hamlin, Horizon Lines Senior Vice President of Operations, said “We are thankful the Horizon Reliance was in the right place at the right time to come to the aid of these individuals. We commend Captain Kelleher and his crew for their skilled seamanship in accomplishing a successful rescue despite very adverse weather conditions.”
Thanks to Phil Leon for passing the news along.