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TheBoat crew rescues 3 on sinking fishing vessel


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POSTED: Tuesday, May 26, 2009

TheBoat rescued the three-man crew of a fishing boat sinking off Waianae early yesterday.

The crew of the commuter ferry Catalina Adventure had just started its normal run at about 5:30 a.m. when there was a distress call from a boat taking on water.

“;You could tell by his voice that he was in a bad situation,”; said Catalina Adventure Capt. Mike Cullen. “;He was saying the water was coming in fast. He wasn't sure how long he was going to stay on the radio.”;

Through binoculars the Catalina Adventure crew saw a single boat toward the west, about a mile off the Kahe Power Plant. Cullen told the Coast Guard that his crew would help.

They found three fishermen standing in waist-deep water on the 29-foot boat Pohakalani. The back of the boat was submerged, Cullen said.

“;They were a couple of minutes of going under,”; said Cullen. Crew members helped the fishermen, a man in his 40s and two in their 50s, board the ferry and towed their vessel to Kalaeloa Harbor.

The vessel sank when the tow line was released, but the fishermen were able to drag it into a slip using their trucks, Cullen said.

Cullen credited his crew, saying regular rescue drills and calm conditions made the job easier.

“;This went so smooth,”; he said.

The Catalina Adventure replaced one of the city's original ferries, the Rachel Marie, in December. Only four passengers were on the vessel at the time of the rescue because of the Memorial Day holiday.

The rescue delayed them an hour.