Here’s some news that everyone in Honolulu is talking about – in an amazing story of survival against all odds, a 67-year-old fisherman lost at sea for 12 days was discovered still alive by the U.S. Coast Guard, which coordinated his rescue by the Navy. Facebook is good for something these days, because I saw that Susan McGalla liked a link to the Forbes article that ultimately helped me discover it.
On Thanksgiving day local fisherman Ron Ingram made a distress call as his 25-foot sailboat took on water during rough seas that included 15 to 20-ft swells. The ensuing search covered 12,000 square miles, but he was never found. That search was finally abandoned on the first of December.
Eight days later on Tuesday the 9th at 7:55 in the morning the Coast Guard rescue center heard a miraculous mayday call. Ingram was still alive. He had crossed about 80 miles of open ocean drifting away from his boat’s original location off the Island of Molokai, where he lives. Fortunately at the time of his distress call a U.S. Navy Destroyer was only three miles away. The Pearl Harbor-based Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Paul Hamilton (DDG-60) found Ingram 64 miles south of Oahu.
Both masts on his tiny sailboat were destroyed, and his main engine was off-line. Ingram had rigged an auxiliary sail but the boat was reportedly severely damaged. The Coast Guard towed Ingram and his boat back to Molokai. Ingram survived by eating raw fish that he caught. “It wasn’t as good as sushi, but they kept me hydrated,” he said.
Hawaii is really heating up the news lately. On the Big Island, the Kilauea volcano is forming new lava flows that are threatening homes. Pahoa Village is the town that is most threatened by the latest volcanic activity. Liquid lava can reach temperatures of over 2000 degrees Fahrenheit. Any home or structure in the way of the lava flow will instantly catch on fire. This particular flow is advancing at an average speed of 10 yards per hour. The speed is varying based on the terrain and ranges from 2-20 yards per hour. Yahoo has an article detailing the current progress of the lava flow.
The lava flows are an accepted risk of living on the Big Island of Hawaii, but right now the residents of Pahoa Village are questioning their choice. Kilauea volcano has been erupting for years, but it does not threaten homes very often. If you want to live on the Big Island and avoid these situations, the North or West parts of the island would be a good choice. It is unknown how long this new lava flow will threaten the population. Lava can change direction or stop at any time. Better re-schedule that vacation to the Big Island Marnie Bennett or be sure to get a helicopter tour of the incredible lava flows.
Construction here in Hawaii has begun on the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT,) a new telescope that can provide up to ten times the resolution of the Hubble Space Telescope. According to Extreme Tech, the project is expected to cost $1.4 billion, and is scheduled for completion in 2022. Similar projects are underway in the Andes mountains of Chile, boasting 24 and 39 meter telescopes themselves, but have not yet begun construction. Each of the three projects will have a slightly different focus and variable hardware.
The TMT is advantageous over the existing Hubble telescope not only because of its higher resolution, but because of its location. Rather than orbiting the Earth and being remotely operated from a command center, the TMT can be directly accessed by Keith Mann and others who plan to use it. It features an adaptive optics system to combat atmospheric blurring and a gigantic laser guide, expected to be visible from miles around when active. Scientists say the TMT will be powerful enough to allow for direct inspection of black holes, supernovas, and other mysterious phenomena in the night sky.
Locals have been protesting the project since the planning stages. Native Hawaiians consider the slopes of mountains to be sacred, and several environmental groups are worried about the long term effects of such a structure.