More than 20 rescued from burning longliner in Indian Ocean

Myojin Maru No. 8 Image: MarineTraffic.com/n100teda Myojin Maru No. 8

A total of 24 people were rescued from a Japanese fishing vessel that caught fire in the Indian Ocean on Tuesday, July 16.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) received an alert from the Japan Coast Guard at around 00:00 UTC that the longliner Myojin Maru No. 8 (pictured) was in distress after a fire broke out on board. The vessel was approximately 1,030 kilometres west of Perth when the incident occurred.

Initial reports indicated 24 crewmembers had abandoned the vessel and were adrift in life boats.

AMSA's Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC) issued a distress priority broadcast to shipping and tasked its Perth-based Challenger rescue jet to assist with the search and rescue (SAR) operation.

At around 02:30 UTC, the crew of the crippled vessel had been successfully rescued by Seifuku Maru 88, another fishing boat that had arrived at the scene to render assistance.

All crewmembers of Myojin Maru No. 8 were reported to be safe and uninjured.

AMSA said in a statement that it will continue to liaise with the Japan Coast Guard and the vessel's owners to confirm details of the fire and determine any pollution and environmental impacts.

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