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BOLO — Coast Guard Searching for SV ‘Malulani,’ LA to Hawaii

UPDATE: Since our posting on Friday a note from USCG SAR, Doug Samp, says all is well as Noel checked in Saturday morning from about 25 miles off of Kaneohe, HI. 

The US Coast Guard is seeking the assistance of the maritime community, asking us to be on the lookout for the 32-ft Westsail sloop Malulani, crewed by 60-year-old Noel Rubio. SV Malulani departed Long Beach, California, on December 28, en route to Kaneohe, O’ahu, Hawaii, with a planned arrival date of January 18.

The Coast Guard is using all available means to determine the Malulani’s location, including urgent marine broadcasts and harbor checks in California, Hawaii, and Baja California. His last cellphone communication, on December 28, was south of Catalina Island, informing a friend he was sailing to Hawaii by a southerly route. The only means of communication aboard Malulani is VHF-FM marine band radio.

Westsail 32 Malulani
Malulani in Long Beach.
© 2024 Courtesy USCG

“The Coast Guard is greatly appreciative of the expert consult advice on weather and routes provided by experienced transpacific sailors,” said Douglas Samp, SAR mission coordinator. “Mariners intending to conduct an open-ocean passage are highly encouraged to have multiple layers of communication, including a VHF-FM DSC radio, HF DSC radio, satellite communications, and a 406 MHz EPIRB as the notification of last resort to help SAR authorities locate your position in time of need.”

Westsail 32 Malulani
The Westsail 32 Malulani in the boatyard.
© 2024 Courtesy USCG

Please report any information or sightings of SV Malulani or Noel Rubio to Joint Rescue Coordination Center (JRCC) Alameda at (510) 437-3701, [email protected] or JRCC Honolulu at (808) 535-3333, [email protected].

Westsail 32 Malulani
© 2024 Courtesy USCG
Skipper Noel Rubio
Malulani owner/skipper Noel Rubio.
© 2024 Courtesy USCG

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  1. Rev Dr Malama 4 months ago

    Wonderful boats but fondly called wet snails for a reason!!! Hopefully they are going to show up well rested and ready for the next adventure….

    • Joseph DiMatteo 3 months ago

      Only people who don’t know much about boats call a Westsail 32 a “wet snail”. As I recall Westsail 32’s have won the Single handed Transpac. And, as Larry Pardey said so well, “there are no slow boats, only under canvassed boats”.

  2. frederic feingold 3 months ago

    With a wonderful boat like that he may have headed for New Zealand!

  3. Rev Dr Malama 3 months ago

    Bah ha ha ha…. Yeah I’m sure a few of you would personally attack me for my salt and humour. But the facts dispute the rhetoric… By the way I was in Santa Cruz California attending College and sailing and building traditional small Craft in the 70s when Lynn and Larry sculled Serafin up the Harbor channel. They kindly allowed our youth group Planetary Citizens to come aboard and share information. At that time we had to know Morse code to qualify for ham radio use and Larry was very impressed by the focus on international communication and dedication to peace that our ship of youths had onboard… Anyway a few days later we heard that Serafin was in trouble off the Lee shore of Moss landing and the Harbor master had heard of their distress from a fishing vessel and so he single handed took the Harbor skiff out in storm conditions and across a bar of huge waves to ask if Larry and Lynn would like a tow… Joseph Rodgers was that Harbor master and a friend of mine .. God rest his salty soul so I believe his story that Lynn and Larry did accept the tow.
    My point is that local knowledge comes from local people with experience. Yes I do hope the Capt and vessel missing do show up well soon dispite the odds….

  4. Bud Taplin 3 months ago

    I surveyed the boat in October of last year when he was purchasing the boat. The boat was in excellent condition. Noel said he was trying to find someone to accompany him on the trip, but I guess he did take off alone, despite my advise that even if he did own a smaller boat in Hawaii, he should not single hand the boat because he lacked offshore experience. I certainly do hope he shows up safely.

  5. Douglas Samp 3 months ago

    MALULANI checked in, 25NM outside Kaneohe Bay. Slow trip are the initial indications. I plan on interviewing him to validate our assumptions while investigating the case and his route to Hawaii. Thank you for you help.

  6. Rev Dr Malama 3 months ago

    Good news!!! And good Mariner community for caring…. Aloha

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