Coast Guard, partners rescue missing mariner off Oahu after 6-day search

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News Release  

U.S. Coast Guard 14th District Hawaii and the Pacific
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Coast Guard, partners rescue missing mariner off Oahu after 6-day search

Sailing vessel Epic

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HONOLULU — Coast Guard and partner agencies have rescued Philip Grenz, the operator of the disabled sailing vessel Epic, approximately 310-nautical miles southwest of Oahu, Friday.

The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter William Hart rescued Grenz, last seen Sept. 2, 2021, and is currently transporting him back to Oahu. 

Grenz is reported to be in stable condition.

“With the combined effort from our partners in this search, we were able to find Mr. Grenz and bring him back to safety,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class Lucas Correia, an operations specialist for Sector Honolulu. “Every agency played a vital role in this rescue by creating a force multiplier to cover such an immense area.” 

At 1:25 a.m., Saturday, Sector Honolulu watchstanders received a report of the missing mariner who departed Nawiliwili Harbor and had not arrived at his next port of call in Haleiwa, Oahu.

Upon notification, watchstanders issued an urgent marine information broadcast and launched Coast Guard search crews including the Auxiliary, who assisted in the search by conducting physical checks of over 20 harbors, boat ramps, and marinas throughout Oahu and Kauai. 

At 10:30 a.m., Thursday, a Navy P-8 Poseidon aircrew located the missing vessel approximately 310-nautical miles southwest of Oahu. An Air Station Barbers Point C-130 Hercules aircrew dropped a rescue kit that contained a radio, water, and food.

Watchstanders requested that the nearby oil tanker, Delta Eurydice, remain in the vicinity of the disabled vessel until the cutter Hart crew arrived on scene.

The cutter Hart crew arrived on scene at approximately 7:20 a.m., recovered Grenz, and is currently enroute to Oahu. 

Sector Honolulu watchstanders issued a Hazard to Navigation Broadcast to mariners alerting them to the disabled vessel’s location. 

Reported weather on scene was winds of 11 mph and seas up to five feet.

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
  • District 14 Coast Guard Auxiliary
  • 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

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