HONOLULU (KHON2) — The Coast Guard rescued four mariners off Portlock after they fell overboard from their vessel on Sunday, May 30.
One of them sustained minor injuries from the vessel’s propeller.
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The Cutter Kimball crew helped bring the mariners to waiting medical personnel.
At approximately 1:16 p.m., Sector Honolulu watchstanders received a report that an unmanned 14-foot vessel was transiting in circles off Portlock, with people in the water nearby.
The mariners said they were ejected from their boat when a large wake impacted the vessel.
According to Sector Honolulu, a new law requiring engine cut-off switches went into effect on April 1, which would have helped the mariners in this situation.
“It’s always better to have more safety measures in place and this is a great way to maintain control of your vessel in the unpredictable ocean,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Chad Chao, an operations specialist for Sector Honolulu.
The new law applies to any motorized boat with three or more horsepower and is less than 26-feet in length.
It requires the operator of the boat to be installed with ECOS to use the ECOS link, which is like a bungee cord lanyard clipped to the operator’s person.
The engine will cut off if the operator is separated from the operating area. This can happen if the operator falls or is ejected from the vessel, which causes it to stop making way.
The ECOS may also prevent the operator from making contact with the vessel’s spinning propeller.