The air and sea search for a sailor in the Pacific Ocean — who sent message to a friend reading, " lost my life raft, in danger now" — has been called off after he checked with the U.S. Coast Guard, officials said Friday.
Rimas Meleshyus told them he was alive and well and still aboard his 24-foot vessel called Pier Pressure.
Meleshyus was part of the way through a solo voyage from Hilo, Hawaii to San Francisco when he ran into trouble around 944 miles northeast of the Hawaiian islands, according to an earlier release from the Coast Guard.
Gale force winds and 20 foot waves were reported at his last known position.
After receiving a text message via satellite stating, "I lost my life raft, in danger now," a concerned friend contacted the Joint Rescue Coordination Center who attempted to contact Meleshyus via cellphone, computer and satellite device, the earlier release said.
When those attempts failed, a HC-130 Hercules aircraft was diverted from a training mission to search for the missing mariner and a U.S. Coast Guard ship was also launched from Hawaii.
Good Samaritan vessels in the area — the Liberia-flagged tanker ship Athens Star and the Bahama-flagged carrier ship Lapis Arrow — were also diverted to assist.
Aircraft passing through the area had also been urged to remain alert for any signs of distress.
On his Twitter feed, Meleshyus describes himself as a, "61-year-old sailor and interpreter of Japanese language from the Soviet Union." He listed his hometown as Port Townsend, Wash.
On December 27, 2013, Meleshyus posted a picture on Twitter, displaying his docked sailboat.
The same day on his website he wrote, "A solo captain, is no one else's commander."