An airplane from the National Hurricane Center was diverted Sunday to assist the U.S. Coast Guard to rescue three people on a sailboat caught in Hurricane Julio, northeast of the Hawaiian Islands.
Walkabout, a 42-foot sailboat, sent out a distress message about 7:15 a.m. Sunday HST. The Coast Guard was alerted by the Joint Rescue Coordination Center in Honolulu, which received notification from the International Emergency Response Coordination Center in Texas.
The call came about 414 miles northeast of Oahu.
"Julio is moving away from that region," AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Edward Vallee said. "At the time of the incident, Julio was to the southeast of the vessel, moving in its [the sailboat's] general direction. Wind gusts were 40 to 50 knots (46 to 57 mph) around the vessel at the time. Conditions probably got worse during the day."
Teal 76 from the National Hurricane Center, was diverted from inside Hurricane Julio to locate the vessel and establish radio communications, the Coast Guard said.
When Teal 76 arrived in the area, it reported mayday calls being broadcast from Walkabout.
On-scene conditions were reported as 92 to 115 mph winds with 30-foot seas. One of the hatches has blown away and onboard bilge pumps are unable to keep up with the flooding. The vessel's life raft has also been blown overboard, the Coast Guard said.
The Coast Guard said an HC-130 Hercules airplane crew was launched from Air Station Barbers Point to deliver a life raft and relieve Teal 76, and the 661-foot container ship Manukai diverted to the location of the sailboat.
Tropical storm conditions will continue with seas over 10 feet late Sunday; better conditions are expected on Monday, local time, with seas relaxing to 5 to 8 feet, Vallee said.