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Sailor missing more than 2 weeks arrives in Hawaii, Coast Guard says

A sailor more than two weeks overdue in arriving in Hawaii finally did on Saturday, the U.S. Coast Guard said in a news release Monday. There was no word on what happened to cause the delay.

The Coast Guard said in an earlier news release that Noel Rubio, 60, departed Long Beach, Calif., on Dec. 28 for a planned three-week sail in his vessel, Malulani. He was heading to Oahu, Hawaii, and was expected to arrive Jan. 18. 

But the Coast Guard said Friday that he still hadn't shown up and it was starting a search for him, adding that Rubio hadn't been heard from since he left California, when he spoke with a friend via cellphone.

The Malulani. U.S. Coast Guard

Rubio's boat is a 32-foot Westsail sloop whose marine band radio was the only means of communication aboard the ship, the Coast Guard said.

Douglas Samp, a search and rescue mission coordinator from the Coast Guard's Alameda Rescue Coordination Center, said in the earlier news release that anyone attempting an open-ocean crossing should have multiple forms of communication at hand. 

The Coast Guard said it was using "all available means to determine" the ship's location, issuing urgent marine information broadcasts and harbor checks in California, Hawaii and Mexico. They also received advice from other sailors about possible routes that Rubio may have taken, and consulted experts on how weather patterns might have impacted Rubio's trip, according to Samp.

Noel Rubio. U.S. Coast Guard

"The Coast Guard is greatly appreciative of the expert consult advice on weather and routes provided by experienced trans-pacific sailors," Samp said.

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