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Extensive Search Underway for Missing Sailor

A search has been underway since early Saturday morning for a sailor who was transiting from Nawiliwili Harbor, Kauai, to Haleiwa, Oahu. The search involves multiple USCG crews and partners from the Navy, Air Force, Civil Air Patrol, and local agencies. According to USCG reports, Philip Grenz, a 67 year-old male, was last seen departing Nawiliwili Harbor, Kauai, aboard the 42-ft sailing vessel Epic, on Tuesday.

Missing sailor
Missing sailor Philip Grenz.
© 2021 U.S. Coast Guard District 14 Hawaii Pacific

At 1:25 a.m. on Saturday, Sector Honolulu watchstanders received a report of the missing mariner, who had not arrived at his next port of call in Haleiwa, Oahu. Sector Honolulu watchstanders issued an urgent marine information broadcast and launched Coast Guard rescue crews.

The following crews are currently involved in the search:

An Air Station Barbers Point C-130 Hercules aircrew
An Air Station Barbers Point HH-65 Dolphin aircrew
The Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Gerczak
A Navy Boeing P-8 Poseidon aircrew
An Air Force Boeing C-17 Globemaster III aircrew
A Coast Guard Station Honolulu 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew
A Coast Guard Station Kauai 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew
Civil Air Patrol Cessna 1A2 aircrews
Kauai County Ocean Safety
Honolulu Fire Department
Honolulu Ocean Safety
Honolulu County Sheriff’s Office

The Coast Guard has requested anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of the sailing vessel Epic, or Grenz, to contact the Coast Guard at (808) 842-2600.

The missing vessel, Epic.
© 2021 U.S. Coast Guard District 14 Hawaii Pacific

While the missing mariner is not a participant in the recent Singlehanded Transpacific Race, his transit is very much like one that is made by many solo sailors after the race. We urge all mariners to be on the lookout for Grenz and Epic, and of course to take all possible precautions when making any crossings.


  1. Chuck Cunningham 3 years ago

    Amazing resemblance to Robert Redford.
    No doubt Grenz and Epic is superior.
    Praying for quick recovery

    • Deirdre C 3 years ago

      That’s exactly what I thought! I imagine he has better sailing skills tho! Hope he’s just anchored up somewhere and neglected to check in ?

  2. Rochelle hamblin 3 years ago

    How long is it sposed to take? We sailed from Oahu to sf 1998 and I believe we passed kauai the 2nd day.. could he have decided to go further ?

  3. mikey 3 years ago

    I sailed that boat from Seattle to Honolulu.

  4. Elizabeth Davis 3 years ago

    He was located 350 miles from O’ahu. The following pasted from Hawaii News Now:
    Published: Sep. 9, 2021 at 7:47 PM PDT|Updated: 15 hours ago
    HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – After a days-long search, rescuers on Thursday afternoon found a missing mariner and his boat in waters about 350 miles off Oahu.

    Officials said Philip Grenz left Kauai’s Nawiliwili Harbor on his 42-foot sailboat named “Epic” on Saturday. The 67-year-old was supposed to arrive in Haleiwa, but never made it to the harbor.

    Multiple agencies on Oahu and Kauai deployed aircrews, including assistance from Ocean Safety and the US Coast Guard to search for the missing mariner.

    Officials said a Navy Boeing aircrew found Grenz. He was waving his hands while on the deck of his boat. An aircrew dropped a rescue kit containing food, water and a radio to Grenz.

    Rescue efforts are underway.

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