Story highlights

Vessel begins to sink north of Oahu

Pumps help keep water at bay

Rescue plane, helicopter assist

CNN —  

Forty people aboard a sinking research vessel had to be rescued 60 miles north of Turtle Bay, Oahu, on Friday, Coast Guard spokesman Lt. Gene Maestas said.

A Coast Guard rescue swimmer boarded the 186-foot research vessel Kilo Moana and three pumps were delivered, according to a Coast Guard news statement.

The pumps appeared to be keeping up with the approximately 400 gallons of water that the crew had reported taking on per minute, the Coast Guard said. The Oahu-based vessel had sustained a baseball-size hole in the hull.

The Kilo Moana is an oceanographic research vessel designed to operate in coastal and blue-water areas, according to the University of Hawaii’s website.

A Coast Guard C-130 rescue plane and an HH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Air Station Barbers Point were flying overhead and in communication with the rescue swimmer.

The Coast Guard cutter AHI and a rescue boat from the Coast Guard station Kauai also were responding.