REPORT FROM THE US COAST GUARD – The Coast Guard and U.S. Navy continue the search Monday for a man who fell overboard from a sailing vessel in the North Pacific early Sunday.
The Coast Guard Joint Rescue Coordination Center in Honolulu was notified by Marine Rescue Coordination Center Falmouth, United Kingdom, that Luke Stinson, one of the two person crew, had fallen overboard from the 38-foot sailing vessel Jonetsu. Stinson was reportedly wearing a yellow lifejacket with a light beacon and conscious when he fell into the water. The second crewmember, Laura Beinon, did not have enough sailing experience to safely navigate the vessel alone.
The U.S. Navy warship Peleliu (LHA 5), a Tarawa Class amphibious assault ship, was diverted from their homeward bound transit to assist in the search. Peleliu deployed two MH-60 helicopters at approximately 5 a.m. Sunday to conduct search patterns. One MH-60 helicopter located the sailing vessel and conducted a basket hoist to remove Beinon and return her safely to Peleliu with no reported injuries.
“The world’s maritime community lives by a tradition of rendering assistance to mariners in distress,” said Adm. Charles Ray, Commander of the Coast Guard’s 14th District. “The level of cooperation from the U.S. Navy has been unprecedented. I want to thank the crew of the USS Peleliu for diverting from their regular duties and honoring this tradition with the swift rescue of Laura Beinon, and ongoing search for Luke Stinson.”
The search for Stinson continues. Two Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules airplane crews from Air Station Barbers Point, Oahu, alternated searches from Midway Atoll and Wake Island throughout Sunday, Sunday night and Monday. During Sunday night, two U.S. Navy MH-60 helicopters and two CH-46 helicopters conducted six more searches of the area.
The Joint Rescue Coordination Center in Honolulu is using the Search and Rescue Optimal Planning System to identify search areas. SAROPS is a software system that uses simulated particles generated by users in a graphical interface which are influenced by environmental data to provide information on drift.
“Our hearts go out to the family and friends of Luke Stinson in this difficult time,” said Ray. “Our crews remain vigilant and thorough in their continued search.”
On scene weather conditions in the search area for Monday are clear visibility, four foot seas and 10 mph winds.
For more information contact the Coast Guard’s 14th District Public Affairs Office at (808) 535-3230.