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Three Sailors Rescued off Hawaii

We don’t know yet why the 48-ft sailboat Bobo Link sank Wednesday less than three miles off the Big Island of Hawaii — conditions on the scene appear to have been calm at the time — but the incident brings to light several important reminders for all offshore sailors.

You may think of some government agencies as the embodiment of ‘Big Brother’, but allowing the Coast Guard to know exactly where you are is a good thing. And someday, your life may depend on it.

© 2017 USCG District 14 / DVIDS

"We cannot stress enough the importance of carrying and properly registering an emergency position indicating radio beacon [EPIRB], which is ultimately what saved the lives of these men," said Petty Officer 1st Class Tyler Peterson of Coast Guard Sector Honolulu. "While the men also were able to contact emergency services personnel via cell phone, we strongly recommend boaters carry a working VHF radio in the event that cell service in unavailable." The survivors were owner Steven Jenkins, 48, Brandan Jenkins, 23, and Nathan Gibson, 43.

As we’ve learned over the years, many times when a used boat changes hands the new owner fails to update the registration info — including emergency contact info for a friend or relative who knows the vessel’s route plan. Likewise, if you buy a personal EPIRB such as a DeLorme InReach, do not wait until an emergency happens to register pertinent info. Your life could depend on it. Note also that many DSC-enabled VHFs and AIS units have mayday buttons that can pinpoint your location for potential rescuers.

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