A missing fisherman rescued last year after 12 days at sea is now missing again, with officials saying his boat capsized off the coast of Hawaii.
Ron Ingraham was sailing from his home on Molokai Island toward Lanai Island, where he goes fishing, when his boat reportedly capsized. The United States Coast Guard sent a response boat from Maui and was able to rescue his shipmate, Kenny Corder, a few hours after the mayday call, but Ingraham remained missing.
Officials implied that the missing fisherman rescued last month could be in serious trouble this time, noting that the conditions can be treacherous where his boat capsized.
Hawaiian officials even warn tourists that dangerous conditions near Lanai make swimming nearly impossible.
Here is a warning from To-Hawaii.com, a travel guide.
“The best swimming beach on Lanai is Hulopoe Bay, located on the island’s south shore. Even though Lanai is a small island, it has one of the longest white-sand beaches in Hawaii – Polihua Beach – which stretches for 1.5 miles (2.4 km) on Lanai’s north shore. However, it is characterized by high winds, rough water, strong currents and unpredictable surf, which makes swimming unsafe.”
The missing fisherman made national headlines last year when he was rescued after nearly two weeks at sea. Ingraham had been rescued in December after issuing a mayday call on Thanksgiving, saying he was in danger of sinking.
“I thought I was going to die,” Ingraham told Coast Guard sailors who found him. “You guys are heroes.”
Friends and fellow fishermen are not giving up hope that Ron Ingraham can be found this time, but said he is likely in danger. Retired harbormaster Earl Omoto said Ingraham is an experienced fisherman and will have a rescue ring to help keep him afloat, but that may not buy him much time.
“The ocean flotation ring is a rescue ring,” Omoto said. “It’s not made to sustain life over a long period of time.”
But Omoto noted that the rescue ring is only meant to hold 130 pounds, and its intention is to keep someone afloat long enough for rescuers to spot its bright color.
“When you’re out there fighting the surf, the elements, you’re going to get tired from hanging on to the ring.”
Omoto admitted that it is difficult in the surf off Lanai.
“It’s what the mariners call a short trough — when you’re coming against the wind, you go up one wave, you come down one wave, the next wave is slamming over the boat. This is what they experienced that evening.”
The missing fisherman rescued last year has another obstacle this time. Authorities said Ron Ingraham was not wearing a life jacket when the boat capsized.
[Image via CapitalOTC]