Hang in there Ron,
Friends of missing boater hold on to hope
Posted on December 1, 2014
There’s still no sign of a missing boater off Kailua-Kona.
On Thursday, 67-year-old Ron Ingraham radioed a Mayday, saying his 25-foot boat “Malia” was taking on water.
“This is Mayday, Mayday, Mayday. I’m in the middle of Alinui Channel. Uh, small boat, dangerous sinking,” said Ingraham.
He issued the Mayday call Thursday morning and was about 46 miles southwest of Kailua-Kona.
Friends say Ingraham is an experienced fisherman who lives on his boat at Kaunakakai Pier and would often travel to Lanai.
“This last couple months, he’s been catching his boat to Lanai, fishing akule or mepachi and catching a ride with his cooler going up to the Lanai City. Selling his fish, trying to make a few dollars there,” said Dedric Manaba, a commercial fisherman on Molokai and a friend of Ingraham.
The Coast Guard believes he was sailing alone from Kauanakai Harbor to Manele Bay on Lanai. How he got swept off course remains a mystery. His friends say the weather conditions could be to blame.
“I think when he left Manele and went around, I think he got into the strong wind and maybe got some engine trouble or something,” said Manaba.
So far, the Coast Guard has searched more than 7,000 square miles for Ingraham by air and deployed a tracking buoy to get a better read on where he could have drifted.
Ingraham’s friends believe he traveled with proper safety equipment and say he even had a kayak on board.
“I’m hoping, I’m praying to God that he’s on one of the beaches of Lanai up Shipwreck Beach. And that he hurt himself as the boat was sinking trying to get into his kayak,” said Kenneth Corder, a commercial fisherman on Molokai and a friend of Ingraham. “In my heart, I believe he’s gone.”
“He’s a tough 67-year-old guy. And I believe with all his experience and stuff, I believe he’s still out there either on his boat or on his kayak. I think he’s still out there. And I’m hoping they can find him,” said Manaba.
According to the Coast Guard, the current weather conditions are 35 mile per hour winds with eight to 15-foot seas.
Crews will continue searching throughout the night by helicopter.