Posted by: Anna Webb | July 15, 2009

Operations Off Lower Puna Coast-Updated

(Thanks to Tom for posting the “answer” to this event last night! See article link for Coast Guard rescue operation information).

Awakened at 2am; at first I thought it had to do with the dream I had. Shortly, I discovered, the dream had to do with what was going on outside.

And, I’m still not sure what was taking place. However, it’s some type of water operation. There are at least 2 helicopters and what appeared to be 2 boats/ships involved. (It was pointed out to me that the lights I saw on the water could have been from spotlights on the helicopters). Located just East of Kehena Beach, one helicopter hovered while the other one went out along the coast,, then returned to the area where the other one hovered. There may have been an airplane involved at one point which flew off toward the volcano/steam plume area. The boats seemed to be gathered together in the ocean below.

So what’s going on? Coast Guard rescue night practice? Military operations? A real rescue operation? A UFO convention?

My observations from the middle of the night:

It’s rainy, cloudy and visibility is not good, unfortunately. I can see the lights but can’t make out the type or color of the helicopters. It’s been tempting to jump in the car and drive down to the coast to see. I believe I’ve determined that it’s likely one of the first two possibilities, rather than the last two possibilities listed above. I’m chuckling now. Seriously, I can’t imagine that a search for someone would go on into the night when it’s totally socked in with rain and fog. And, because the one aircraft keeps flying down the coast and back to the same spot over and over leads me to believe it’s a practice operation.

I guess they have to practice somewhere off the coast but I can think of plenty of other places to practice besides directly off-shore from a populated sub-division. However, it could be that a fishing boat went down and they are actually looking for someone.

Unless I get changed out of my pajamas and drive down there to see what’s going on, I really won’t know. It’s 1/2 mile to the coast and possibly another 1/2 mile out into the ocean so whatever is going on is only a mile away.

2am: Awakened by bad dream which I realize had to do with the actual activity going on somewhere outside.

2:05am: Raining and foggy, I can make out aircraft over the ocean. One seems to be hovering while the other flies up and down the coastline.

This continues for an hour. An airplane flys by and on toward the pali at Kilauea.

3:05am: One helicopter continues to scour the coastline while the other flies inland over Seaview Subdivision.

3:07am: Second helicopter also flies inland following the same path as the other.

3:15am: I go back to bed.

This is normally a very quiet area at night, so the low vibration of helicopters and airplanes definitely is noticed. This morning I searched and searched the Internet for any postings or news of a training operation off the S/SE coast of Big Island, Lower Puna area to no avail. No local news regarding an ocean rescue in the area was found.

If anyone has any info to share regarding this blog, please post a comment. Mahalo!

Coast Guard Rescues 3 Boaters Off Big Island  (Kehena Beach area) – 7/15/09


  1. You know… we got awoken by them too! I was too sleepy to remember what time. I live close to Pahoa Town.

  2. I live near the Rocky Mountains, so my interpretation of what was going on in the early morning hours in Hawaii might be totally wrong. In my neck of the woods, though, helicopters that fly back and forth over the same spot on a continual basis for hours at a time, means they are looking for someone or something. Generally they are not looking for someone who is lost or missing, but it is more along the lines of searching for someone or a group who is involved in unlawful activities. That is why you will never hear any media reports about it.

  3. Oh yes, Adrienne, that happens here ALL the time but during the day. And, this was over the ocean so I doubt this was the case. UNLESS they found a boat or ship on the fly!

  4. Is this the answer?

    Seems there was a boat in trouble off the Puna coast.


  5. Thank you Tom! Yes, that was it. It had to be – and it was just barely East of Kehena where they were hovering.
    Interestingly, my dream was about a drowning and my inability to rescue the person in my dream.

    Mahalo for the find and the post!


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