Here’s a textbook example of the Coast Guard executing a long range Search and Rescue mission to save the life of an aviator in distress.
Yesterday, a Cirrus SR-22 with an auxiliary fuel tank installed was being ferried from California to Hawaii. This is a fairly routine procedure. In this case, however, it appears that a fuel transfer valve malfunctioned, and the pilot quickly realized he would be unable to reach his destination with the remaining available fuel. A quick calculation showed he would run out of fuel about 230 miles short of land.
A Mayday call to the Coast Guard led to the dispatch of a Coastie HC-130 Search and Rescue plane. The Herc served as the on scene coordinator. It located a cruise ship in the vicinity of the anticipated splashdown point, and provided* navigational assistance to both parties.
The SR-22 has an installed parachute recovery system that allows it to deploy its parachute in the event of engine failure or other emergency.
*That’s actually supposition on my part. Call it informed speculation.